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His autograph from the Originalin. the PofsefsioTvof 

John Thane. 

Historic Battersea 










THE author of this work, in placing before the 
public the fruits of over three years' labour and 
research, has presented the results in a reliable, 
rather than a showy manner, and has sacrificed for this, 
perhaps, some effects of literary adornment. 

"Historic Battersea" will arrest general attention — 
apart from sociological interest — principally because it is 
the first effort to place before readers anything approach- 
ing a complete history of Battersea. 

The material from which this book has been slowly 
upbuilt, has been obtained from the archives of West- 
minster Abbey, the Record Office, the British Museum, 
and other reference libraries containing old manuscripts 
and books relating to the work undertaken. 

Battersea of to-day, with a rateable value of over 
one million of money, can here be compared with the 
11 Patricesey " of the time of William the Conqueror, and 
it's evolution traced from that period, through the eras of 
Bolingbroke and Wilberforce to the present day. It will 
be noted that what at one time, in the late eighteenth 
century, was one of the most desirable suburban residential 
districts for the wealthy, fell from its high repute, until it 
became a veritable pandemonium on earth, and the resort 
of the most undesirable. One of the reasons for this will 
probably be found in the chapters dealing with the Red 
House and its environments, and the Sunday orgies per- 
mitted in the neighbourhood of Battersea Fields. 


The author acknowledges his indebtedness, and 
conveys his thanks to those who kindly loaned to him 
some of the engravings reproduced in this work, forming 
the most complete set of pictures of Old Battersea ever 
brought together in one volume. 

In conclusion, it may be pointed out that a meed of 
praise is due to the publishers for the whole-hearted 
manner in which they have co-operated with the author 
in submitting this concise and handy volume of historical 
reference for the approval of the public. 


April, 1913. 


Chapter Page 

List of Illustrations xi. 

I. The Antiquity of Battersea. 

The Origin of the Name— Ancient Records — 
Old Charters— Forest Land— The Manor of 
Battersea — The Stanley Family — The St. 
John Family — Ford Across the River — 
Ancient Finds 1-4 


Marsh Land— Old Parish Church— The Plague 
— Windmills — Old Battersea Bridge — Water 
Supply— Falcon Brook — Battersea Creek — 
Market Gardens — River Watermen — Thames 
Regatta— First Training College— The Hamlet 
of Penge— Traders' Tokens— Wages in 1815— 
The Stocks 5-15 

ill. later battersea. 

Falcon Lane — Manor House, St. John's Hill — 
Turner — Battersea Square — The Priory — First 
Steamer on the Thames — Carlyle — Surrey 
Lane — Stage Coaches — First Railway — Black 
Records — Dr. Watson and Electricity 16-23 

IV. The Commons. 

Their origin — Common Rights — Common 
Fields — Latchmoor Common — Enclosing 
Common Land — Clapham and Battersea 
Boundary Dispute — Free Fights — Penge 
Common— Legal Rights— The Landgrabbers 24-27 

viii. CONTENTS. 

Chapter Page 


Battersea Fields, 1740— Highwaymen and Foot- 
pads — Sunday Carnivals — Dog Carts — The 
Balloon Gardens — A Historic Duel — Mr. Long 
— Battersea Park 28-31 


Owen Ridley— Henry Elsynge — Dr Thomas 
Temple— Henry St. John, Lord Bolingbroke 
—Bishop Patrick — Dr. Thomas Church — 
William Wilberforce — John Gardner — Thomas 
Astle — Theodore Janssan — Joseph Hughes — 
John Cullum 32-51 


The Founder of the Works — Hancock and his 
Assistants— The Art of Enameling — Transfer 
Printing, French Enamels— Bilston Enamels 

— Birmingham and Liverpool Enamels — 
Famous Collections 52-57 

viii. Famous Battersea Houses. 

York House — Bolingbroke House — Sherwood 
Lodge — The Red House — Broomfield — 
Lubbock House 58-68 

IX. Old Time Taverns. 

The Falcon— The White Hart— The Old Swan 
—The Old House— The Raven— Star and 
Garter— Nine Elms Tavern— The Old House 
at Home — The Plough 69-73 


Lime Works— Pottery Works— Foundry— Sal- 
mon Fishing — Boat and Barge Building — 
Silk Factory — Wicker Works — Bowley's Oil 
and Colour Works— Fownes' Glove Factory 

— Battersea Soap Works — Brunei's Saw 
Mills— Shoe Factory— The Starch Works- 
Price's Candle Works— Nine Elms Gas Works 74-86 


Chapter Page 


Indigenous Plants and Flowers — Pamplin's 
Nurseries — Rural Aspect of Battersea in 1800 87-91 

XII. BATTERSBA bequests. 

John Banks — Ann Cooper — John Edmonds — 
Mark Bell — Rebecca Wood — Anthony Haldi- 
mand — John Pavin — Thomas Archer — Buck 
and Purkins— John Shewell — John Rapps — 
Henry Tritton — John Constable — Edwin 
Thompson — Henry Juer — Edward Dagnall — 
Henry Smith— The Ely Charity— Elizabeth 
Copeland— Emma Webb— Lost Charities 92-98 


St. Mary's— Wesleyan Church— St. George's— 
Methodist Free Church — Christ Church — 
Church of the Sacred Heart— The Church of 
Our Lady— The "New" Baptist Church— 
St. John's — St. Saviour's — Congregational 
Church — The Old Baptist Meeting House — 
St. Mark's— St. Matthew's— St. Peter's 99-103 

Past Vicars of Battersea 104-105 


National Schools— Night Schools— The First 
Factory School — St. John's School — The 
Grove School — St. Mary's School — St. 
George's School — Christ Church School — 
The Masonic School — St James' School 106- no 

XV. local Government. 

The Vestry— Highway Board— Board of Works 
— The Burial Board — First Elected Vestry — 
The Baths — Public Library — Lammas Hall — 
Incorporation — First Ratepayers' Association 
— Municipal Buildings — Morden Cemetery — 
Borough Council 111-116 









"THE RED HOUSE," 1830. 







THE origin of the name Battersea is lost in antiquity, 
some of our best historians give various surmises as 
to the meaning of the word, but their reasoning has 
not much support in matter-of-fact evidence. The earliest 
records of Battersea are dated 693. In some of the manu- 
scripts the name is spelt Baetrice, and many of these 
documents were in the archives of Westminster Abbey; 
in other records of various dates the name is spelt as 
Batrichesia, Battlesey, Patricheseya, Patricesie, and 
Batricheseye, down to the sixteenth century, when we find 
the spelling evolved to Battersey, and in the seventeenth 
century it was first spelt Battersea. The Domesday Book, 
which was compiled in 1086, gives the name as Patricesey, 
which was said to mean St. Peter's Isle. 

There are in existence several charters relating to 
Battersea, one being William the Conqueror's original 
grant, another emanating from Henry I., and one from 
King Stephen. In some of these early documents the 
name is spelt Battlese, but these records do not show how 
the name originated, tradition says that the name was 
derived from the battles which were fought in the bed of 
the river when the tide was low and the river fordable. 
Old historians say that after the Conqueror had failed in 
his attempt to enter London, he encamped at Battersea 


Reach. At this time the greater part of Battersea was 
forest land, and was valued for purpose of assessment at 
nineteen hides ; in 1080 William held right for hunting in 
the woods near Battersea; and in 1225 the manor of 
Battersea was assigned for the maintenance of the 
monks at Westminster. The abbey was closed in 1540. 

The Westminster records shew that when Cedwalla, 
King of the West Saxons, won Surrey in battle, he gave 
Battersea to Erconwald, a bishop, by whom it was trans- 
ferred to the abbey of Barking. 

Domesday Book also records that Battersea was held 
by Karl Harold and afterwards by William the Conqueror, 
who claimed the crown regalia which had been placed in 
the keeping of the abbots of the convent of Westminster by 
King Edward. King William then gave the manor of 
Battersea to the abbots of Westminster, and it remained 
under their rule four hundred and sixty years until the 
reign of Henry VIII., when the manor became crown 

The Stanley family owned a large part of Battersea up 
to the time of Edward IV., when the property was alienated 
by John Stanley, and one part became the property of 
Anne, Duchess of Buckingham, the king's aunt ; the other 
part, nearly four hundred acres of land, was purchased by 
Lawrence Booth, who annexed it to the see of York. 

In 1610 the income from the manor was applied to the 
maintenance of Henry, Prince of Wales, until 1627, when 
Charles I. granted the reversion in fee, of the manor of 
Battersea to Oliver St. John, Viscount Granderson, who 
died in 1630. After his death it came to William Villiers, 
who was killed at Bristol in 1644. Sir John St. John, 
nephew of the first Lord Granderson, then inherited the 
manor — he was connected by marriage with Anne Boleyn's 
family — and he was succeeded by Walter St. John, his 
nephew, and on his death it went to his son, Henry, Vis- 
count St. John, and from him it descended to his grandson, 
Henry, Viscount Bolingbroke, and then to Frederick, 



nephew of the first Lord Bolingbroke. In 17 16 Henry 
St. John become Baron St. John of Battersea ; he was the 
father of Lord Bolingbroke. In 1763 the estate was sold 
to Earl Spencer, the amount paid being ^30,000. Lord 
Spencer retained his freehold until 1835. 

In 1684 Henry St. John pleaded guilty to murdering 
Sir William Estcourt in a quarrel at a supper party, when 
swords were drawn. He was reprieved by Charles II. upon 
the payment of ,£16,000. Bishop Burnet, in his history of 
the Court, says that King Charles put half the money in 
his own pocket and gave the remainder to two ladies who 
were then in his favour. 

Oliver St. John was the first of the family to reside in 
Battersea. The last of the St. John family to be buried in 
Battetsea was a daughter of Lord Bolingbroke. 

Sir Richard Phillips, writing in 1810 on historical 
events, says there was a crossing-way over the Thames 
near Battersea, where Caesar pursued the retreating Britons. 
" This causeway," he said, " may yet be traced from the 
south bank of the river at low water, so that this was prob- 
ably a ford where the British wing retreated before the 
Romans, and across which they were doubtless followed 
by Caesar." 

Maitland, the historian, also says that Caesar crossed 
the Thames in pursuit of the Britons between Chelsea and 
Battersea, where an old ford existed, this ford was broad 
enough to allow ten men to walk abreast ; some warlike 
implements have been found near where this ford existed, 
these were of the Roman period, a Celtic shield was also 
found on the Battersea side ot the river, which is now in 
the British Museum. Many finds of old implements and 
other relics of the past ages have been found in the river 
bed, and in and about Battersea ; weapons of iron and 
bronze, human skulls, lead coffins, and stone implements. 
Some of these were found during the making of the park 
and building the new bridge. Two embossed shields and 
an ancient cauldron were dug up from the bed of the river 


some few years ago, these belong to the bronze age and are 
now in the British Museum, there is in the same museum a 
flint sickle which was found in the Thames near Battersea. 
Utensils of the Roman period, mediaeval pottery, mammoth 
teeth of extinct animals, bronze spears, and flint axes of 
early man have been found in the river banks between 
Chelsea and Battersea. 

There are in the British Museum several small round 
pieces of tin which were found in the Thames at Battersea. 
They are remarkable for having impressed upon them the 
Christian monogram the chirho which is the earliest 
mark of Christian faith. Many of these tin discs were 
found in the Roman catacombs, and date back to the 
fourth century. 

In the Hilton- Price collection at the London Museum 
can be seen a good specimen of a tenth century sword. 
Some years ago a part of this sword was found in the river 
bed at Battersea, the part found consisted of the hilt and 
about three-quarters of the blade, on the blade there was 
an inscription, which was unfinished on account of the mis- 
sing piece broken off. Any hope of finding this was never 
thought of, yet, when the Tower Bridge was being built 
this very fragment was found deep down in the bed of the 
river ; the fit of the two pieces was exact and the inscrip- 
tion read straight on, thus completing the wording. This 
sounds incredible, but such is the fact of the finding of the 
tenth century sword now in the London Museum. 

When the West London Railway was constructed some 
fine specimens of horns belonging to the red deer were dug 
up in the river bed near Battersea ; these relics of the past 
belonged to a time when the wolf, the deer, and the wild 
boar, roamed undisturbed about the woods which lined the 
river bank. 

Battersea is in the hundred of Brixton, and it is 
bounded by Lambeth on the east, by Clapham, Streatham 
and Camberwell on the south, by Wandsworth on the west 
and by the Thames on the north. 


IN ancient times the river Thames covered the low- 
lying land around Battersea to a considerable extent, 

and in some parts when the tide was at full, old 
historians say that the water reached as far as Clapham, 
and even down to the year 1570 the greater part of lower 
Battersea was under water, the land which now forms 
the Park, and extending nearly as far as Nine Elms was 
a boggy marsh, as the river reached far beyond its 
present limits; when the tide was high the water spread 
over the land a considerable distance, and the river banks 
were constantly breaking away by force of the in-rush of 
water. To prevent this a wall was built of brick and stone 
along the river bank, which was known as "The Marsh 
Wall," after the building of this wall much of the land was 
drained and reclaimed, this land was divided into plots 
and known as Short Marsh, Middle Marsh, and Long 
Marsh land. 

No mention is made in the Domesday Book of any 
church at Battersea, yet other records show that a parish 
church was endowed in 1152 by the abbot of Westminster, 
and that the living was held by the bishop of Winchester 
in the time of Philip and Mary. In 1776 this church was 
found to be in a decayed condition, past all repair, and was 
pulled down. It was a building of great antiquity and 
had some claim to architectural beauty in design, the 
tower was massive and embattled. The church is men- 
tioned in several old records as an imposing structure, 
which had some fine stained glass windows. The art of 
glass staining was flourishing in England at this period. 


The most magnificent stained window was in Canterbury 
Cathedral, which was destroyed by a madman in the time 
of Cromwell. Westminster Abbey contains some very fine 
specimens, also York Minster. 

One of the windows in Battersea Church was said to 
have been done by Jarvis McAllister, who was a highly 
gifted artist, but his colours were not entirely fadeless. 
An artist named Pearson discovered the process by which 
the colours in glass staining were rendered permanent, 
much of his beautiful work in churches and other public 
buildings is scattered throughout Great Britain. In the 
east window of St. Mary's church are three portraits, one 
to the memory of Margaret Beauchamp, who was the wife 
of Sir Oliver St. John, her second husband being the Duke 
of Somerset ; she was the grandmother of Henry VII. 
The second portrait is of Henry VII., and the third is the 
portrait of Queen Elizabeth, who was the granddaughter 
of Thomas Boleyn, the father of Anne Boleyn. The parish 
register dates from 1559, but was kept in a most irregular 
manner in the old days, many of the entries must have 
been made by a very ignorant person, and in some years 
no entries seem to have been made at all. Many of the 
records are quaint and curious reading. 

The present church, which was built upon the site 
of the old one, is chiefly known for its copper spire, which 
was much praised by Sir E. Poynter, R.A. The east 
window contains the fine stained glass removed from 
the old church. It is to be regretted that out of 
sixteen plates and brasses removed from the old church, 
only seven are in the present building, the rest being lost. 
Most of the old coffin plates, which were stolen, were 
worked in silver, and some of the oldest monuments were 
destroyed or allowed to fall into decay. The earliest 
monument in the old church was an elaborate brass to 
the memory of John Rennold, dated 1443. Two members 
of Queen Elizabeth's household, Henry Huss and Hugh 
Morgan, were buried in the old church. There was also a 


stately monument to Queen Elizabeth, but the finest monu- 
ment preserved from the old church was that belonging to 
the Bolingbroke family, which is built of grey and white 
marble; this was designed by that famous artist Roubilliac, 
it has medallion portraits and an inscription written by 
L,ord Bolingbroke. There is a memorial stone to Sir E. 
Wynter, an old Battersea worthy, a great traveller who was 
in the service of the East India Company in the reign of 
Charles II. History records that when in India he was 
attacked by a tiger, which he seized by the throat as it 
sprang at him, and forced it into the river, where it was 
drowned. An inventory taken in the reign of Edward VI. 
shows that the old church had costly fittings, the hangings 
consisted of damask, silk, satin and velvet. Some very 
old documents relating to past vicars are still preserved, 
one of them refers to Owen Ridley, who was vicar in 1575. 
The church records shew that Battersea suffered severely 
during the plague, the deaths were so numerous that two 
large burial pits had to be dug, into which the bodies were 
put, great distress prevailed in the parish, and prayers 
were said daily in the church for the people's deliverance 
from the scourge. The plague visited Battersea in 1603, 
1625, and 1665, the last being the most severe visitation. 

Quaint wooden windmills stood all along the Thames 
banks in the early part of the nineteenth century, and 
several of those windmills were picturesque objects about 
Battersea. One of the best known was Randall's mill at 
Nine Elms, this mill is shown in several old engravings. 
Another noted mili was in Nine Elms Lane, which served 
as a beacon for boats on the river, this mill stood near 
where the "Southampton Arms" is now situated, not far 
from the old steamboat pier. Steele, in one of his works, 
mentions the Battersea mills ; in giving an account of a 
voyage on the Thames, he tells how he met a fleet of 
Battersea gardeners going to market with their produce, 
and how he drew up at the Nine Elms pier near the old 
windmill. In connection with these mills was a narrow 


footway which had a low parapet on both sides known as 
Mill-pond Bridge, it crossed a reservoir of water used for 
driving the mill-wheel. 

The most famous windmill in Battersea was one 
which stood near the old Parish Church, this mill was 
built upon an original plan, it was without visible sails, 
but had on each side a number of vertical shutters. The 
mill was built in 1788 and was known as the horizontal 
air mill, owned by a Mr. Hodgson, maltster. It served 
as a land mark for miles around Battersea. The following 
description of this mill is from an old news sheet : " On the 
site of the venerable family mansion of Henry St. John, 
Viscount Bolingbroke, is erected a horizontal air-mill, for 
grinding malt for distillation, originally intended for 
grinding linseed ; it is one hundred and forty feet high, 
and the average diameter of the cone is about fifty feet, 
having ninety-six shutters, which, though only nine inches 
broad, reach to the height of eighty feet : these, by means 
of a rope, open and shut in the manner of Venetian blinds. 
In the inside the main shaft of the mill is the centre of a 
large circle, formed by the sails, which consist of ninety- 
six double planks, placed perpendicularly, and the same 
height as the shutters; through these shutters the wind 
passing turns the mill with great rapidity, which is increased 
or diminished by opening or shutting the apertures ; in it 
are six pairs of stones. Adjacent are extensive bullock- 
houses capable of holding six hundred and fifty bullocks, 
to be fed with the grains from the distillery, mixed with 
meal ; " the mill was not a success, and no more mills 
were built upon this novel plan. Many of the old prints of 
Battersea show this mill. Another novelty in windmills 
was the windmill pump, which was erected on Wandsworth 
Common by a gentleman named William Watson, in 1815, 
this was built for the purpose of supplying what was 
known as the " black sea " pond with water, the ruins 
of this mill are still standing (19 13) on the railway siding 
near Trinity Road. 



W - 

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Q £ 

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Windmills are of great antiquity, and believed to be 
of Roman invention. They were first introduced into 
England by the Knights of St. John, who copied the mode 
of building them from what they had seen during the 
Crusades. In later years we find them greatly improved 
and used for many purposes, a wind saw-mill was erected 
in the Strand in the year 1633, this was built by a Dutch- 
man ; a great many of the early windmills were built by 
the Dutch. 

A writer of some note in the eighteenth century pro- 
tested against the unsightly state of some of the windmills ; 
she said, " How is it that modern millers are the most 
tasteless mortals in the world ? all the materials of an 
enchanting place are ready to their hands, as they must, 
for their trade have a lake, a river and a waterfall, which 
are highly picturesque ; the mills are usually located in 
pretty villages rich in overhanging woods following the 
windings of their water power ; yet how seldom does one 
see a mill that is not offensive to the eye ? like a drunken 
man in a church, outraging the propriety of the place, I 
can see no reason why a mill in the midst of rural scenery 
might not be made an adjunct to the landscape, instead of 
an eyesore, yet how often do we find a four-square white- 
washed, unadorned, ugly mill by the banks of a pastoral 
river ? " 

About 1760 an agitation was commenced for a bridge 
across the Thames from Battersea to Fulham ; the project 
was opposed by the Chelsea and Fulham tradesmen on the 
assumption that it would be the means of taking the trade 
of their district to Battersea ; the projector of the scheme 
won, and the first bridge across the Thames at Battersea 
was built of wood in 1771, and had sixteen piers, the bridge 
was seven hundred and twenty-six feet long, twenty-four 
feet wide, the total cost of building was ^20,000, this 
money was contributed by the land-owners and residents 
of Battersea and Chelsea ; and Earl Spencer, who con- 
tributed the major portion of the money, took the toll. 


Before the building of this bridge the only means of 
crossing the river was by a ferry which had been in 
existence many centuries. The building of the bridge 
was quite an event in Battersea, crowds of people used to 
congregate on the banks of the river to watch the building 
in progress, and when it was finished the opening day was 
given up to rejoicing and merry-making on both sides of 
the river, the bridge being gaily decorated with bunting 
and flags intermingled with festoons of flowers. Years 
afterwards, when the Thames regatta was an annual insti- 
tution, Battersea Bridge was filled with sightseers who 
paid high prices for their seats or standing room. 

At this time the water supply was by means of wells, 
some of which were on the common laud, the water carts 
used to get their supply of water from these wells, and 
supply the cottages in the village. One of those wells still 
exists in the basement of the old Vestry Hall on the 
Battersea Rise, it was discovered about five years ago 
during some building alterations. Another well, which 
has since been filled in, was on Lavender Hill where the 
Shakespeare Theatre now stands. Water was also taken 
from the Falcon brook, which took its rise near Balham, 
coming down through what is now Northcote Road, and 
forming a large lake on the site of St. John's Road, and 
was known as the " Washway," it then proceeded under 
the roadway at the foot of St. John's Hill, and turning 
westward, flowed down what is now Lavender Road into 
the creek. In the eighteenth century an ancient bridge 
spanned this creek, which passed down York Road ; 
persons coming from Wandsworth had to pay toll. There 
is an old deed in existence dating back to 1279, which 
mentions the bridge as being on the road to Wendlesworth 

At the commencement of the seventeenth century 
Battersea was famous for its market gardens, they extended 
from the Lavender Hill down to Battersea Park Road, 
they also covered much of the land near the river. The 


Battersea gardeners were noted for their fine growth of 
vegetables, which fetched high prices in the London mar- 
kets. The gardeners of Battersea were the first growers to 
cultivate asparagus and introduce it in the fruit and vege- 
table markets. The Battersea gardens were most probably- 
improved by the Huguenots who settled in Wandsworth 
in 1639. Fuller, writing in 1660 on the gardens of Surrey, 
says, " Gardening was first introduced into England about 
1590, before this time we obtained our fruit, etc., mainly 
from France and Holland. The gardeners of Battersea 
paid 7s. 6d. per acre for tithes to the vicar. In 1800 nearly 
one hundred and fifty acres were under cultivation." 

Many of the boatmen who plied on the river had their 
homes in Battersea, and among them were men who 
gathered the flotsam and jetsam of the river, some ot 
which brought rewards from the coroner, for the old 
wooden bridge was responsible for detaining many a 
dead body, which had floated with the tide until caught 
in the piles of the bridge and captured by some prowl- 
ing boatman. The police galleys had to keep a sharp look 
out when there were heavy laden barges moored, for many 
suspicious looking boats were about, ready to snap up un- 
considered trifles. 

Some of the Thames watermen also lived at Battersea, 
the Red House being the starting point for the river car- 
nivals and sports. The watermen can trace their occupa- 
tion back to a remote period, when the river was the great 
highway of commerce and pleasure. In a Statute of 
Henry VIII., passed in 1514, for regulating their fares, it is 
recorded " That it has been a laudable custume and usage 
tyme out of mind to use the river in barge or whery bote." 
And the annals of the Watermen's Company give an 
interesting account of a dispute as far back as 1293 con- 
cerning the charge for the conveyance of passengers from 
Gravesend to London. The regular fare was one half- 
penny for each person, but some unscrupulous boatmen 
charged passengers a penny. So the offenders were taken 


by the sheriff before the justices of assize, who admonished 
them, and made each waterman give a bond of 40s. for 
future good behaviour. 

Stow, the historian, computed that in 1600 there were 
forty thousand boatmen upon the rolls of the Watermen's 
Company ; this gives an idea of the river traffic at this time. 
The wealthy class kept their own watermen, there were 
also watermen of the Court who attended all state func- 
tions. The Thames at this date was the great highway of 
London, there were no bridges across the river beyond 
London Bridge until 1750, when the old Westminster 
Bridge was opened. 

River sports were introduced into England from 
Venice about 1774, and the first regatta to take place in 
this country was on the Thames at Battersea Reach on the 
23rd June, 1775, when thousands of spectators lined the 
river bank on both sides to watch the racing between the 
rival vessels. Soon after its introduction the regatta be- 
came one of the most popular of river sports. A regatta 
consists of a series of races between sailing vessels or row- 
ing boats, the prizes contested for being mostly presenta- 
tions. The races were managed by a committee of 
gentlemen called stewards, who appointed two officers to 
decide all questions in dispute during the races, these offi- 
cials were termed " umpire" and "judge." In 1839 Henley 
regatta was established, and in 1843 the Thames regatta 
started from Putney Bridge ; many professional oarsmen 
and scullers took part in these river sports. Another 
popular pastime in these days was the musical water 
party, which was often given on the banks of the river 
near Battersea ; well appointed pleasure boats assisted at 
those entertainments, which were of a gay and picturesque 
character, many notabilities being present dressed in fancy 
costumes. Marlow, the artist, depicts one of these river 
party scenes in an oil painting, now valuable. 

The first training college for teachers in England was 
built at Battersea, this building stood near the river on 


iO = 




part of the site of Bolingbroke House, and was known as 
Battersea Training College, for the training of elementary 
teachers. This college was instituted in 1840 by Sir James 

In 1700 Penge was a small hamlet, part of the parish of 
Battersea; it had a population of about seventy persons, 
and the number of houses within the parish was onlj four- 
teen. It remained part of the parish of Battersea down 
to 1900, when it was transferred to the county of Kent. 
At one period of its history Penge was a place of some 

An old historian records that in the reign of Queen 
Mary, Alexander Nowell, one of the deans of St. Paul's, 
and headmaster of Westminster School, one fine summer's 
day was fishing in the Thames on the banks near Battersea, 
when Bishop Bonner, who hated Nowell for his support of 
the "New Opinione," made an attempt to capture him, but 
after a severe struggle Nowell escaped, leaving behind him 
his luncheon, which consisted of bread, cheese and some 
beer in a bottle, this he had placed in a hollow in the bank 
until luncheon time. A long time after this incident hap- 
pened he returned to Battersea, and, being curious to 
know if his beer was still in the bank, he went in search of 
it, and found it just as he had left it, then he goes on to 
say that " when I opened the bottle the stopper flew off 
like a gun, but I found the flavour of the beer much 
improved, being richer than ever I have known beer to 
be." Sir James Fuller was of opinion that this was the 
origin of bottled beer. 

During the seventeenth century many Battersea traders 
issued their own money for small amounts, these coins 
were made of a mixture of lead and tin, and were known 
as traders' tokens. 

In Battersea Square stood the old workhouse, near 
"The Priory," and a little higher up the road, in Surrey 
Lane, was the "Cage" for the confinement of persons 
guilty of petty crimes. The " Stocks," for the punishment 


of disorderly persons, were outside the parish church near 
the river. 

In 1 8 15 the wages paid for labour in Battersea seems 
to have been below the amount paid during the period 
termed " the hungry forties." A writer in a magazine of 
that time says, " I made enquiries in Battersea relative to 
the condition of the workers, and I was grieved to find 
that the payment of daj r labourers varies from 3s. to 2s. per 
day, or on an average is not more than 15s. per week ; of 
women from is. to is. 6d., or about 7s. per week; and of 
children from 6d. to qd., or 4s. per week ; though for the 
last two classes there is only sufficient employment for half 
the year. A poor man who had a wife and three children 
to maintain on 14s. per week, told me that for many 
months he and his family had been strangers to meat, 
cheese, butter or beer, that bread, potatoes, nettles, turnips, 
carrots and onions, with a little salt, constituted the whole 
of their food, that during the winter months he was obliged 
to rely on the parish, and in case of sickness he and his 
children had no resource besides the workhouse. " I 
don't think," said he, "the gentlefolk save much by run- 
ning down the poor so very hard, for we are obligated to 
get it on the parish, which they pay, so it's all one, 
though it grieves a poor man, as one may say, to apply to 
the overseers, and to have no hope but the workhouse 
at last." 

"I agree with this humble economist that it seems to 
be as ungenerous as impolitic to throw on the poor rates a 
burthen which ought to be borne by those who profit from 
the labour thus inadequately remunerated. It could not, 
and ought not, to be difficult to fix a minimum (not a 
maximum) rate of pay, such as should be sufficient to sup- 
port an average sized family. With inferior means, the 
labourer must suffer the obloquy of being remunerated 
from the parish rates, to which all are forced to contribute 
as fully as though the employer paid the fair value of the 
labour in the first instance, and assessed it on the price of 


his commodity. How painful the condition of the poor, 
contrasted with that of the rich ; yet how closely are they 
allied, and how adventitiously separated ! The latter 
solace themselves in a fancied exemption from the miseries 
and ignominy which attach to the former, though their 
daily experience of the caprice of fortune ought to teach 
them, while they have the power, that it would be wiser 
to diminish the contrast by ameliorating the condition of 
poverty ! How glorious the spectacle afforded by the exhi- 
bition of civilized society, though that justly admired 
civilization is but a result of artifices that create the dis- 
tinctions of rich and poor! What a gulph between the 
ancient Britons in the social equality of their woods and 
caverns, and the favoured English in their luxurious cities 
and magnificent palaces." 

This sounds like present day socialism ! yet it was 
written one hundred years ago by Sir Richard Phillips, a 
sound supporter of the constitution. 



FROM the seventeenth century to the early nineteenth 
century very little change took place in the normal 
aspect of Battersea, for not until this period had 
London commenced to extend its boundaries far beyond 
the City limits, and Battersea was one of the many parishes 
which were dotted about on the outskirts of the big city, 
being connected with it only by the old turnpike roads ; 
and up to the middle of the nineteenth century Battersea 
had a very rural aspect. 

Falcon Lane (now Falcon Road), had hawthorne 
bushes on each side of the roadway, which enclosed 
meadow land, orchards, and gardens. The Falcon Inn 
was a small beer-house, with a large tree in front of it, 
and a water-trough for the use of horses. A few cottages 
with long front gardens were dotted about the lane, and 
a small farmhouse here and there in the fields. The 
general aspect was very rural ; and what is now St. John's 
Road had much the same appearance. St. John's Hill was 
a country road leading to the village of Wandsworth, each 
side being flanked by meadow land and cornfields. A few 
houses had been built about Plough Lane (now Plough 
Road) and Union Road (Usk Road), and two or three large 
houses and mansions stood off the main road. The most 
famous house on the hill was " The Manor House," which 
stood near the Alms Houses, not tar from where the 
Infirmary now stands. The grounds were very extensive, 
and most beautifully kept. This house had a very inter- 
esting history. It was designed by Wren and built by a 


French refugee, Peter Paggen. It was a handsome and 
imposing structure, commanding a fine view of the country 
around. For some years this house was the home of the 
Princess who afterwards became Queen Anne, and many 
historic scenes were enacted here during her residence. 
On the walls were decorative paintings and other speci- 
mens of art work, by the foremost artists of the time ; but 
as they were worked in panels on the walls, they were 
destroyed when the house was demolished in 1892. 

Peter Paggen, the builder of the Manor House, was a 
Huguenot, who fled to England, with so many of his 
countrymen, on the Decree of Nantes. He died about 
17 10, and lies buried with his confreres in Mount Nod 
burial-ground, East Hill, Wandsworth. 

At this time Woolf's pencil works in the York Road, 
was a farm kept by a Mr. Turk, and known as Turk's 
Farm. Part of the original farmhouse is still standing 
(19 13). Near this farm the Falcon brook ran, an open 
waterway in which boats were rowed as far as the creek 
bridge in York Road. Near to Plough Lane stood the 
Creek flour mills, which were owned by a Mr. Denny. 
Most of the land about this part of Battersea belonged to 
the Bishopric of York. 

Off York Road, and what is now Battersea Park Road, 
were orchards, market gardens, and meadow fields, which 
flanked each side of the road. The east end of York 
Road was known as Pickpocket Lane, and the " Prince's 
Head " was only a country inn. At that time (1840) 
Battersea was much in evidence as a residential suburb, 
some of the best families having their mansions in Batter- 
sea. On the site of Messrs. Arding & Hobbs, Ltd., stood 
the home of Tom Taylor, the dramatic author, and on 
the opposite corner where Messrs. Hastings, Ltd., have 
their premises, the old house known as "The Chestnuts," 
was occupied by Bogle Smith, Esq., banker, and trustee of 
Sir Walter St. John's Schools ; it was afterwards the resi- 
dence of Mrs. Sterling, an actress of note in her time. 



In Falcon Lane, where David Thomas's shops are, 
was Fowne's glove factory, which extended nearly as far 
as the corner of York Road. Where the dispensary now 
stands at the corner of High Street, there was a pound 
for impounding stray cattle, and in the centre of the road 
was a pond of stagnant water. From the corner of High 
Street down to the railway station, were the grounds and 
gardens belonging to the old "Manor House," the resi- 
dence of Sir Charles and Lady Nugent, which stood on the 
site of the station. A short distance from the " Manor 
House" stood a fine old mansion known as " The Lapa- 
dary," occupied by Mr. Stirling, then coroner for London, 
he was also famed as a breeder of race horses. The next 
house of note was " The Priory," in Battersea Square, 
which was the home of Captain Clayton, R.N., a great 
friend of Sir Charles Napier, who was a frequent visitor to 
" The Priory." 

Several imposing mansions stood in Battersea Square, 
one of these was occupied by Miss Ridley, who kept a staff 
of liveried servants, another was the residence of Dr. 
Conner, a well-known surgeon in his day. Mr. Miller, the 
famous barge builder, also lived in the square. 

In 1855 tne original Sir Walter St. John's Schools 
were pulled down, before this it had been a boy and girl's 
school, but after the girls had been transferred to the 
Green Lane School, the upper part of the building 
was transformed into a library under the title of " The 
Battersea Library and Scientific Institute ; " the subscrip- 
tion was 2s. 6d. per quarter, which entitled members to 
have books, attend lectures, and be members of the old 
Battersea Cricket Club. 

At this time the Principal of St. John's Training 
College was Mr. Jackson, who afterwards became the first 
Bishop of New Zealand. Sir Samuel Clark, the great 
linguist, was another noted principal of the College. 

The Southland Training College was a very fine man- 
sion, known as " The Retreat," which was built by order of 


the Duchess of Angouleme, as a refuge for the people oi 
her country during the French Revolution. Its name was 
changed by Sir George Pollock, who resided there in the 
early forties. 

What is now Lombard Road was then a rural lane full 
of fine houses, and was known as Industrial Grove, Mr. 
Spiller lived here, he built " The Rainbow," which was the 
first steamer to carry passengers on the Thames, his house 
stood where Wiffin's factory now stands. Miss McKeller 
also lived in this road, she was a wealthy lady who 
bequeathed half a million of money to charities. "Walnut 
Tree Lodge " was another mansion in the road, it was the 
home of West, the artist, and close by stood another well- 
known house, " The Cane," which was the residence of Mr. 
Long, of the Bank of England, who took an active part in 
obtaining the grant of land for Battersea Park. 

Surrey Lane was a cool retreat in the summer, over- 
arching trees formed a green canopy of shelter from the 
sun's heat, wide stretching verdure reached as far as the 
eye could travel, near by stood the old riverside house 
where Lord Mornington composed "Here in cool Grot," 
and not far away stood " Era House." An ancient man- 
sion stood in Surrey Lane which was said by some old 
chroniclers to have been the residence of Queen Elizabeth, 
but not much is known about its history. It was demol- 
ished in i860. Battersea Square was the village proper, 
cut off from the world by field and waste land. Bridge 
Road West was pretty with its numerous trees and neat 
villas, it was then quite in the suburbs. Church Street 
was the abode of the poor. Ford's Folly made no pretence 
of respectability, Bridge Road was only half built, the first 
police station was built there in 1859. Ethelburga Street 
was then known as Marsh Lane and had only a few houses 
in it. Latchmere Road was called The Piggery, while 
Sheepcote Lane was Sheepgut Lane. This part of Batter- 
sea was nearly all market gardens. One gardener had 
forty acres of asparagus under cultivation, and at one time 


there were three hundred acres of market gardens within 
a mile of the parish church. There was no railway com- 
munications, the nearest stations being Vauxhall and 

The only churches in Battersea prior to Christ Church 
were St. Mary's and St. George's, near the Fields. The 
vicar at this time was the Rev. Eden, afterwards bishop of 
Sodor-and-Man. On Sunday mornings the road was lined 
with carriages waiting to take their owners home after the 
service. The organist was Dr. Wagstaff, the composer, he 
was succeeded by Mr. John Nicholson, who was blind. He 
used to walk, always unattended, to the South London 
Blind School to teach the blind. 

Turner, the artist, when he lived at Chelsea, was a 
great admirer of the scenery around Battersea and the 
river. Thornbury says that on the day he died he re- 
quested his landlady to wheel his chair to the window that 
he might see the river sunset he loved so well, and the 
sails of the boats glinting with the passing sunset below 
Battersea Reach. 

Carlyle, the Chelsea sage, was a frequent visitor to 
Battersea in the fifties, he used to ride an old nag, and 
envelop his shoulders in a cloak of antique fashion ; with 
bent head and stooping form, as if in deep thought, he 
used to enjoy the fresh Surrey air, and he could be seen on 
Lavender Hill, or on his way round the Common, several 
times a week when the weather was fine. 

About 1840 saw the close of the old coach service, 
which had been commenced early in the nineteenth cen- 
tury, when two-horsed coaches took passengers to and 
from London daily, these coaches went from "The Raven," 
in the High Street, and in 1826 there was an increased 
service of omnibusses from other parts of Battersea. The 
first railway into Battersea was the Southampton line, 
which was opened in 1838, the station was at Nine Elms. 
The Battersea station in Falcon Lane was not built until 
1845, and became Clapham Junction station on the opening 




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of the Richmond line in 1846. The line to Waterloo was 
opened in 1848. 

The following description of a railway journey from 
Battersea to Wimbledon appeared in 1846: " Leaving the 
Nine Elms station you have an excellent view of Battersea 
Fields to the right, and of Battersea Rise, Clapham Com- 
mon, and Wandsworth Rise to the left, but the first glimpse 
of unequivocal scenery you lay your eye on is Garrett Mill, 
near Wandsworth, for as you whisk past, you cannot avoid 
remarking what a sweet little spot it is ! the mill half hid- 
den among trees, the mill pond tastefully planted, with 
embowering walks meandering through the emerald turf; 
a little verdant isle in the midst, with its straw roofed 
hermitage, convince you that taste has evidently formed 
and preserved that little spot. The river Wandle is classic 
too, it is the " blue transparent Vandalir," as the poet 
called it, the favourite haunt of Izaak Walton, and is well 
known for its peculiar variety of trout, which have marbled 
vSpots like a tortoise." 

A project was brought forward in 1879 for a new bridge 
across the Thames, to replace the old timber one which 
had become dangerous to traffic, and a Bill was brought in 
Parliament, and after some opposition as to the position 
the bridge should occupy, the foundation of the present 
one was laid in 1885. 

Battersea has been much disparaged in the past; in the 
early part of the nineteenth century " Go to Battersea " was 
a by-word much used by Londoners who wished to show 
contempt for their fellows, as at a later date "Go to 
Putney," and " Go to Bath," were used in the same term. 

Battersea, like many other boroughs and towns, has 
it's dark side, but it is not darker than the seamy side of 
Westminster and other places where wealth abounds. Still, 
Battersea had some black spots in the early fifties, one 
writer about that time described it as "the sink-hole of 
Surrey," strong language, yet not without some reason for 
it. There were gambling, drinking, and other iniquities of 


the Red House. Stewarts Lane had so many bad charac- 
ters in it that it became known as " Hell's Corner," while 
the drinking carnivals on Battersea Fields every Sunday 
were beyond description. Another black spot was Kuropa 
Place, which was known as the home of the forty thieves, 
and designated "Little Hell," and there were other places 
in Battersea about this time which were little better than 
dens of infamy. We have improved much during the half- 
century which has passed ; the schoolmaster has been 
abroad, and other influences have been at work for the 
betterment of humanity. 

About sixty years ago Dr. Watson exhibited, near 
Battersea, a process by which he applied the power of elec- 
tricity to produce light; he also obtained colour by the 
same process, which is thus described in the papers of that 
date: "The great feature of the invention is, that the 
materials consumed in the production of electricity are 
employed for a profitable purpose independent of that ot 
illumination. Thus, while a most brilliant light is pro- 
duced by galvanic action, materials are introduced into the 
battery by which pigments of the finest quality are 
obtained, and these are so valuable that they equal, if they 
do not exceed, the cost of the operation. The pigments are, 
of course, first obtained in a liquid state, but they pass 
through a filtering and drying process, which not only ren- 
ders them available for ordinary purposes, but creates 
varieties of tint when the colour is the same. If the 
result of the inventor's discovery answers his expectations, 
this double employment of electricity will be a valuable 
addition to practical science, since we may literally have 
light for nothing, the illuminator being paid with his 
own pigments." 

Some time after this Dr. Watson fixed two of his 
electric lamps on a steamboat, one on each side by the 
paddle-box; the vessel made a journey from Battersea to 
Gravesend, leaving Battersea about 8.30 p.m., several 
pressmen were on board, who thus describe the journey : 


"The lamps intensely illuminated both banks of the river, 
shedding a flood of light on the objects and edifices in the 
way, including the Chelsea College, both Houses of Par- 
liament, St. Paul's, and Greenwich Hospital. The effect 
as seen from the several bridges is said to have been 
remarkably striking and beautiful. The shipping in the 
port below London Bridge was as conspicuously seen as 
in the light of day, a most important fact in relation to the 
subject of safety to life at sea, and the national question of 
a perfect system of lighthouses on the British coast." The 
steamer returned to Battersea about 3 a.m. 

Klectricity has marched a long way on the road of 
science since the days of Dr. Watson, who was one of that 
hopeful little band of scientists who never lost faith in the 
great future which lay before the power of electricity. 



THE commons of Great Britain are pasture or waste 
lands, which have never been appropriated, but have 
always been used in common by the inhabitants of 
the district in which the commons were situated. In 
Battersea, Clapham and Wandsworth, extensive common 
rights existed. The chief use of the commons in by-gone 
times was for feeding cattle belonging to the people 
of the district, who reserved some parts of the commons 
for meadow land, for the purpose of making hay, by which 
the cattle were fed in the winter. By this means the 
people were enabled to feed their cattle and increase their 
stock at little expense. 

One-sixteenth part of all commons were claimed by 
the lord of the manor, or, where one did not exist, it was 
claimed by the Crown, the remainder belonged to the 
people of the parish or district in which the land was 
situated. At one time ditches formed the dividing line 
between one parish and another. Until the passing of the 
Metropolitan Board of Works Act, the fund for keeping 
the commons was collected in the parish annually. 

There was also public land known as common fields. 
These were small tracts of land, many of which were under 
cultivation. These common fields also belonged to the 
parish for the common good. 

One of these common fields was in Battersea, a large 
tract of waste land situated between the Battersea Fields 
and Pig Hill, leading to what is now Lavender Hill, and 
was known as the I,atchmoor Common. Under the power 


of an old Parliamentary Act dating back to William IV., 
the overseer of any parish had the power to enclose 
waste or common land lying in or near the parish 
the land enclosed not to exceed fifty acres ; they had to 
cultivate and improve such waste land for the use and 
benefit of their parish, and also had the power to let such 
enclosed land in allotments to the inhabitants of the 
parish to be cultivated on their own account. Taking 
advantage of this Act, the churchwardens and overseers 
of Battersea enclosed about sixteen acres of Latchmoor 
Common and let it out in allotments, at a low rental, to 
the residents of the parish, for the cultivation of vege- 
tables, etc. When Pig Hill became Latchmere Road this 
land was known as the Latchmere allotments. The site 
is now covered with property belonging to the Battersea 
Corporation. Battersea Fields were common land, and it 
required an Act of Parliament to form them into a park. 

About 1796 Acts of Parliament were passed for the 
purpose of enclosing land belonging to the commons and 
the common fields. By this means many of the com- 
mons have been much curtailed, and the land taken from 
the people. During the last century large portions of 
Battersea, Clapham and Wandsworth Commons have been 
taken in, nearly sixty enclosures, comprising over five 
hundred acres of land, have been taken from the commons 
without payment, leaving only about one hundred and 
ninety acres, which were saved after a severe fight, and a 
cost of nearly ^3,000. Over two hundred acres of this 
common land has been taken by railway companies. The 
builder has also taken large slices whenever he had a 
chance. In 1760 the men of Battersea formed a Land 
Defence Association. The members went about breaking 
down illegal fences and trespass notices, defending cases in 
the Courts, and in other ways frustrating the land thief. 
The public of to-day can judge how much of their land has 
been stolen, when only fifty years ago a portion of com- 
mon land existed at the junction of Falcon Road with 


Lavender Hill, showing that the commons had reached 
down to this point at one time. 

The greater portion of the land abutting on Trinity 
Road, Windmill Road, and Earlsfield Road was common 
land, and all around the common can be traced the hand 
of the land-grabber. 

One of the most ancient commons was Penge Com- 
mon, which dated from the time of the Saxons. It is 
mentioned in Domesday Book as a common having accom- 
modation for the feeding of fifty hogs belonging to the 
people of the parish. Part of this common was in exist- 
ence down to 1827, when an Act was passed to enclose it, 
but nearly four hundred acres had been taken before that 
time, and since that date it has entirely disappeared, like 
much more of the public land in various parts of the 

Among old records dating from 17 16, the following 
notes show that some rivalry existed between Battersea 
and Clapham, regarding the boundary of the commons 
which at an earlier date had existed, showing the portions 
which belonged to each parish. 

The men of Battersea, finding that their portion of the 
common was being stocked with cattle belonging to the 
inhabitants of Clapham, separated their land from that 
which belonged to Clapham, by digging a deep ditch 
and throwing up earth works. They also put gates across 
the road and footpath to prevent Clapham parish common- 
ing with Battersea. They contended that the people of 
Clapham could not claim any right to use the Battersea 
part of the common, and that the boundary was an ancient 
ditch which divided the two commons, they also held that 
the copy holders of the Manor of Battersea had a right to 
separate the two commons. 

After much wrangling and many unseemly scenes, 
which took place between the rival parishes, legal opinion 
was taken on the whole question, and as far as can be 
gathered from the old records, the opinion was that the 


inhabitants of Clapham had no legal right to allow cattle 
to graze upon the Battersea portion of the common, also 
that the Lord of the Manor of Battersea had the power to 
enclose that portion of the common, and exclude the 
inhabitants of Clapham, and not allow their cattle to feed 
there ; for the usage had always been that the people of 
Clapham had driven their cattle upon their own common 
land, and the cattle must have strayed upon the common 
of Battersea where the boundaries were effaced. 

When this opinion had been given, the Battersea men 
annexed what they considered their portion of the com- 
mon by digging a ditch from Wix's lane to some distance 
beyond the Mount pond. This was no sooner done than 
the men of Clapham commenced filling the ditch in again, 
more disturbances took place, and the common was the 
scene of many free fights and other disorderly scenes, 
until the Lord of the Manor of Battersea (Viscount St. 
John) brought an action for trespass against Clapham, 
the case was tried at Kingston in 1718, when the plantift 
was non-suited. 

A certain portion of this common land, as shown in 
old deeds, has always been held on lease to Earl Spencer; 
how this came about is not very clear. 

The land-grabber has ever been an active individual 
around Battersea as in other parts of Great Britain, hence 
we find that only a comparatively small area of our com- 
mons now remain. 



WHEN Battersea was a remote and isolated village 
at the commencement of the eighteenth century, 
Battersea Fields were a large stretch of marsh}'', 
common land fronting the river. Rocque's map of London, 
published in 1745, shows the extent of this land to cover a 
very much wider area than it did in 1853, when it was con- 
verted into a park. At this date the Fields were a despised 
oasis, flanked with a few ramshackle huts, inhabited by a 
class of people who made day hideous and night dan- 
gerous, for it was not safe for decent people to pass " the 
dismal swamp " after dark, as highwaymen and footpads 
infested the roads, and many an incident that is best hid 
in the shadows of the past occurred on the lonely road 
between Battersea Fields and Nine Elms. 

At a later date a kind of carnival of folly was held 
every Sunday in the vicinity of the Fields. From all parts 
of London came the residuum of its population, bent upon 
pleasure of the most objectionable kind, and sport of the 
lowest order: dog fighting, badger baiting, rabbit coursing, 
etc., and the general conduct of the persons who frequented 
these meetings was beyond description ; it made right 
thinking people shudder with horror, for gambling and 
drinking to excess held the sway. Few of the Battersea 
people attended these Sunday fairs, the crowds were 
mostly composed of the scum of London. 

A curious sight on Sunday mornings was the number 
of small carts, drawn by dogs, coming from all parts of 
London to the sports in Battersea Fields, some of them 


having come a distance of twenty miles. These dogs were 
very strong and large, something like a mastiff, but of a 
cross breed. The owners used to give them bread soaked 
in beer when on a journey, to keep them going. During 
the week the dogs were employed to take the produce of 
the market gardens to the various markets, and were used 
for doing all sorts of light work, but some of the owners of 
dog-carts used the animals so cruelly that an Act was 
passed about the middle of the nineteenth century making 
it illegal to use dogs as beasts of burden. Those carts 
were the origin of the term " dog-cart." 

Near Battersea Fields stood the Balloon Gardens, a 
place of general entertainment, connected with which was 
a ball room and a bowling green, it was much frequented 
by the young bloods of that time. In the early fifties an 
ox was roasted on Battersea Fields to commemorate the 
success of James Searle, a celebrated walker, who was the 
first man to walk one thousand miles in one thousand 

Many duels were fought during the early part of the 
nineteenth century on Battersea Fields, but the most 
famous was the duel between Lord Winchelsea and the 
Duke of Wellington in 1829. The cause of the duel arose 
in the following manner : the Karl of Winchelsea was 
a bitter opponent of the Catholic Emancipation Bill, 
which was being discussed by the Lords, his language was 
most violent and he declared that the Duke of Wellington, 
who was piloting the Bill through the House, carried on 
an insidious design for the infringement of our liberties 
and the introduction of Popery into every department oi 
the State. The Duke promptly denied this, and called 
upon him to withdraw the aspersion, and upon Winchelsea 
declining, the Duke challenged him, the result was 
that a duel was arranged to be fought on Battersea 
Fields. Lord Falmouth attended Lord Winchelsea as his 
second. A large concourse of people assembled to see the 
"sport" ; before the duel commenced Lord Falmouth rode 


up to the Duke and handed him a paper, which the Duke 
read, after which he returned it, saying, " No, no ! that 
won't do, it is not a full apology." Upon this reply Lord 
Falmouth returned to where Lord Winchelsea stood, giving 
him the Duke's message. As he took up his position Lord 
Winchelsea, who was quite unnerved, was heard to say to 
his second, "This is quite a mistake." The Duke fired 
first without injury, Lord Winchelsea then elevated his 
pistol and fired in the air, he did this, as he afterwards 
explained, because he believed himself to be in the wrong. 
Sir Henry Hardinge, the Duke's second, gave Lord Win- 
chelsea a severe rebuke. "And now sir," he said, "without 
making any insidious reflections, I cannot help remarking 
that, whether wisely or unwisely the world will judge, you 
have been the cause of bringing this man into the field 
where, during the whole course of a long military career, 
he never was before." Lord Falmouth here turned to his 
unhappy principal and declared he always thought, and 
had told him that he was completely in the wrong. 
When Lord Winchelsea attempted to vindicate himself, 
the Duke haughtily replied : " My Lord Falmouth, I have 
nothing to do with these matters." He then touched his 
hat with two fingers, saying, " Good morning, my Lord 
Winchelsea ; good morning, my Lord Falmouth," and 
rode away. 

In 1843 Mr. Thomas Cubitt suggested to the Parlia- 
mentary Commissioners the laying out of the Fields as a 
Royal Park, in this he was ably supported by Mr. Long, 
a high official in the Bank of Kngland, and resident 
in Battersea. These gentlemen made a strong protest 
against the rowdy and indecent conduct which was 
carried on, and advocated a plan for reclaiming the land 
on the foreshore, which was to be added to the projected 
park. They met with much opposition from a section of 
the inhabitants of Battersea, but as other public spirited 
men came to their support, the plans for the formation of 
the park were agreed to, and an Act was passed through 


Parliament in 1846, giving powers for making a Royal 
Park by the purchase of three hundred and sixty acres of 
land in the Fields, two hundred of which were allotted for 
the formation of the park. Some very ancient oak trees 
grew in the Fields, and can now be seen in the park, these 
are almost the only specimens of old trees in the park, 
nearly all the others were planted as saplings when the 
park was made. The park took nearly eleven years to 
complete, a large portion of the land being bog, which had 
to be made up and converted into solid ground. As the 
Surrey Commercial Docks were being excavated at the 
same time as the park was being made, the material was 
used for filling in the marsh land on the Fields. 

The park was opened in 1853. ,£1,500 was paid to the 
Battersea parish for " Lammas " rights over the Fields. 
Captain Marryat, in his novel "Jacob Faithful," refers to 
Battersea Fields as they were in his day. 


Owen Ridley. 

A NOTABLE vicar of Battersea was Owen Ridle}', who 
was minister of the parish in 1570. He was one of 
those unfortunate men who live before their time, 
and as a result are constantly being misunderstood. He 
was not popular with his parishioners, but much of this 
may be put down to the superstitions of the times in which 
he lived, he was a man of much breadth of mind and 
thought, and this led some of the ignorant and narrow 
minded to impute all kinds of wrong motives to whatever 
he did. 

He was brought to trial on two occasions, once he was 
charged with witchcraft, it being alleged that he had had 
converse with witches, this was a very protracted trial, but 
resulted in Ridley being acquitted. Like his great name- 
sake he seems to have had strong faith in the triumph of 

Henry Elsynge. 

A man of some note in his day was Henry Elsynge, 
who was born at Battersea in 1598, and was educated at 
Christ Church, Oxford. He afterwards became a famous 
traveller, visiting many foreign countries, which was a 
great undertaking in those days of slow locomotion. 
He was also a man of much literary ability, and had other 
accomplishments. The notorious Archbishop Laud took a 
great interest in his welfare, and through his influence 

























































Elsynge obtained an appointment as clerk of the House of 
Commons, a post of great importance at that time. While 
he remained in the House he had the confidence of all 
parties, as he discharged his duties with integrity and 
ability, for which he received commendation from many 
ministers of the crown. He held this position for some 
years, and only resigned his post when a junto of the 
House attempted to seize the reigns of government, for he 
considered it his duty to resign his position, rather than to 
be concerned in such proceedings, which he was of opinion 
would be subversive to the Constitution. 

After his retirement from the House of Commons he 
lived at Huntslow, where he occupied his time in literary 
work. He wrote many books, but his best known works 
were, "The ancient method and manner of holding Parlia- 
ments in England," which is of an historical nature, and 
another book, a small volume dealing with proceedings in 
the Parliaments of his day. Both these works were well 
received in the book world and had a large sale. Elsynge 
died in 1654. 

Dr. Thomas Temple. 

This old Battersea worthy was vicar in 1634. Dr. 
Thomas Temple was the brother of Sir John Temple, the 
Irish Master of the Rolls. He was incumbent of the 
Parish of Battersea during the tempestuous times of the 
Civil War; Cromwell had a high opinion of him, and 
appointed him to assist the Committee which he had 
formed for the purpose of displacing ignorant and in- 
efficient schoolmasters and ministers. He did his work 
without bias or prejudice, and so pleased Cromwell that 
he gave him other appointments. He often preached 
before the Iyong Parliament, and many of those sermons 
were published. 



Henry St. John. 

Lord Viscount Boungbroke. 

Battersea cannot boast of being the home of many men 
who have impressed their name upon the pages of history, 
but one name stands out clear and distinct — Lord Boling- 
broke — who was one of Battersea's greatest citizens. He 
was born at Bolingbroke House, the seat of his grand- 
father, Sir Henry St. John, in the year 1678. The St. John 
family took the title of Bolingbroke from the name of a 
town of great antiquity in Lincolnshire. 

The St. John family was distinguished for its attach- 
ment to popular rights, and several of the line died in the 
cause of England's liberties. History says very little about 
the early life of Bolingbroke, the first we hear of him is 
that he was placed under the tuition of Daniel Burgess, 
who was a celebrated divine. He afterwards went to Eton, 
where he became acquainted with Sir Robert Walpole, who 
afterwards was his bitter enemy and remained so to the 
end of his life. From Eton he went to Christ Church, 
Oxford, where he threw off all the puritan teaching in 
which he had been trained. When his college days were 
finished, he led a gay and profligate life, remarkable even 
for the age in which he lived ; his father, in order to 
reclaim him, persuaded him to marry the daughter of Sir 
Henry Winchescomb, a lady of high character. For some 
time after his marriage his mode of living was much 
improved, but he was soon back again into his old habits, 
his wife charged him with the most shameless infidelity, 
and in the year 1700 they parted. 

At this time Bolingbroke had been returned as Mem- 
ber of Parliament for Wootten Basset, and, through the 
influence of the Duke of Marlborough, joined the Tory 
party in 1704, much to the distress of his family, who were 
strong supporters of the Whig party. In 1705 he became 


Secretary of War, which office he held until 1707, when he 
lost his seat, and was out of Parliament till 1709, when he 
was elected for Berkshire. Although his family were in 
favour of the Whig policy he still supported the Tory 
party, and was one of the chief upholders of the Treaty of 
Utrecht, and a Bill by which dissenters were forbidden to 
instruct their children in religion. Extremely active in 
the House of Commons, he impressed on all men, by his 
readiness both to speak and act, a high respect for his 
talent and enterprise. Though sprung from a Whig family, 
he was himself a decided Tory, and, as such, was closely 
leagued with Harley in all political measures. So intimate 
was the alliance between them that when, in 1707, Harley 
was dismissed from office, in consequence of the discovery 
of his intrigues, St. John chose to follow his fortunes, and 
gave in his resignation on the day following. He was not 
elected to the next Parliament, but employed the two years 
of his retirement in hard study, and he subsequently 
declared this to have been the most serviceable part of 
his life. 

When the Protestant succession was firmly established, 
Addison was appointed to the foreign secretaryship, which 
had been held by Bolingbroke, who had to deliver up all 
papers belonging to his office. Soon after giving up this 
office he had to flee from the country, to prevent himself 
being charged with high treason. His old schoolfellow, 
Walpole, moved in the House of Commons that a Bill of 
Attainder be brought against him, which was agreed to. 
Bolingbroke had now joined the forces which raised the 
rebellion of 17 15, but with no success, and it was with no 
little pleasure that he received from the Earl of Stair, the 
English ambassador at Paris, an intimation of the king's 
favourable disposition to him, and he now turned all his 
thoughts to effecting a reconciliation with his enemies, the 
Whigs. We learn from Horace Walpole's letters that he 
made professions of the most implicit submission and sup- 
port to the Whig government ; and as an earnest of his 


anxiety to serve them, published in 17 17 his celebrated 
letter to Sir W. Wyndham, in which he displayed, with 
great effect, the insignificance and folly of the pretender's 
party. Though it is confessed that this production gave a 
death-blow to the Jacobite cause, it does not appear that 
it effected Bolingbroke's real object, for he was still unable 
to return to England. During the early part of his exile 
his first wife had died, and he married the widow of the 
Marquis de Villette, and niece of the celebrated Madam 
Maintenon, a woman of great beauty and talent, in whose 
society, aided by the philosophical spirit which circum- 
stances had forced upon him, and by the glittering gaieties 
of the French capital, he passed his time as happily as 
could be expected for a spirit burning with the desire 
for action, and yet pent up in an inglorious idleness. In 
1723 he obtained from England a pardon as to his per- 
sonal safety, but which restored him neither to his title, 
inheritance, or to his seat in Parliament. In consequence 
of this act of favour he returned to England. Just as he 
was about to embark on the packet-boat at Calais, he met 
with his ancient ally Atterbury, who, after weathering the 
storm which had burst on the head of Bolingbroke, was 
now setting out on a banishment for new offences, at the 
very time that his former coadjutor was returning. As 
soon as Bolingbroke arrived in England, he used all his 
arts and energy to obtain the reversal of his attainder, not 
scrupling to humble himself to degradation before his 
enemy Walpole, that he might accomplish his object ; and 
his efforts were so far successful that in two years after his 
return from banishment his family estate was restored to 
him, and he was allowed to possess any other estate in the 
kingdom which he might think proper to purchase. This 
remission of his sentence has always been charged upon 
Walpole as one of the most unwise acts of his administra- 
tion ; but Coke, in his life of that statesman, shows pretty 
clearly that it was a measure unwillingly brought forward 
by Walpole, in obedience to the express commands of his 


sovereign, whose ear Bolingbroke had contrived in some 
way to gain. 

For ten years Bolingbroke remained in political shade, 
during which time he wrote many of his best works, he 
also wrote some bitter letters to The Craftsman, attacking 
his old enemy Walpole, who was then premier. Finding 
that his influence and power had left him, he wrote to his 
friend Wyndham as follows : — " I am a proscribed man 
surrounded with difficulties, my part is over, and he who 
remains upon the stage when his part is finished deserves 
to be hissed off?' Before retiring from public life he wrote 
his great book, " Dissertations on Parties," which has been 
pronounced the best of all his political writings. 

He again went to France in 1736, where he devoted 
himself to study and writing his book on "The Study and 
Use of History," which created a storm of abuse. About 
this time he became acquainted with Voltaire, whose in- 
fluence had a great deal to do with changing Bolingbroke's 
views on the Christian faith. After remaining a few years 
at Fontainebleau, he returned to England on the death of 
his father, and took up his residence at the family seat in 
Battersea, where he wrote his letters on " Patriotism," and 
other works, his last work being an essay on " The State of 
the Nation " which was not completed when he died. At 
this time Pope, Chatham and Pitt were constant visitors to 
Bolingbroke House. 

Early in 1751 Bolingbroke had a severe illness, from 
which he died on November 15th in the same year, and 
was buried in the parish church of St. Mary, in a tomb 
of white and grey marble designed by Roubilliac, who 
designed the famous statue of Sir Isaac Newton, which 
stands in Trinity College, Cambridge. This monument 
bears the following inscription : " Here lies Henry St. John, 
in the reign of Queen Anne, Secretary of War, Secretary 
of State and Viscount Bolingbroke ; in the days of King 
George I., and King George II. something more and better. 
His attachment to Queen Anne exposed him to a long and 


severe persecution ; he bore it with firmness of mind. He 
passed the latter part of his life at home, the enemy of no 
national party, the friend of no faction ; distinguished 
under the cloud of proscription, which had not been 
entirely taken off, by zeal to maintain the liberty and to 
restore the ancient prosperity of Great Britain." To the 
end he maintained his infidelity, his last orders were 
that no clergymen should be admitted to his chamber. 
Among the unpublished productions of his pen was found 
manuscripts of one of his best essays on " Human 

A writer in the last century thus sums up the character 
of Bolingbroke : 

" Bolingbroke's abilities were exactly of that stamp 
which astonish and fascinate those who come into personal 
contact with their possessor, — more brilliant than solid, — 
more showy than substantial. His mind was not a pro- 
found one ; but what it wanted in this respect was atoned 
for by its readiness and acuteness. He seemed to grasp 
everything by intuition, and no sooner had he made him- 
self master of a proposition or an argument, than his 
astonishing memory enabled him to bring forth vast stores 
of information and illustration at a moment's warning. 
Endowed with a brilliant imagination, — a prodigious flow 
of words, — a style which fascinates the hearer by the 
incomparable beauty of the language and the bounding 
elasticity of the sentences, — and an extraordinary power 
of presenting his conceptions in the clearest possible light, 
his contemporaries looked upon him as one of those rare 
beings who seemed to be endowed with a nature superior 
to that of common mortality, and who stoop down to the 
world only to evince their mastery of all its lore, and their 
superiority to its inhabitants. But, dazzled as they were 
by the vast surface of the stream, they forgot to enquire 
into its depth. We, in modern times, who know nothing 
of the artificial splendour with which a " form excelling 
human," — a manner that seemed given to sway mankind, 


— and a most dazzling style of conversation, invested the 
name of Boliugbroke, are perhaps inclined, by the exag- 
geration of the praise once lavished on him, to do him 
but scanty justice. Nevertheless, it must strike the reader 
of his works, that he nowhere exhibits a power of carrying 
on a continuous train of thought ; that he never fairly 
grapples with any subject, but contents himself with point- 
ing out its weaknesses and illustrating its minor features ; 
that no lofty thought, or original reflection escapes from 
him : that he is an acute observer but a shallow thinker, — 
a clever rhetorician, but an illogical reasoner. His politi- 
cal writings are indeed occasionally distinguished by a 
vigorous and well-conducted style of argumentation ; but 
we know no more tame and impotent specimens of deduc- 
tion than his " Philosophical Essays." The boasted First 
Philosophy is founded on a congeries of confuted fallacies 
and shallow sophistries, on which it would be impossible 
to build any edifice more substantial than a limbo oi 

The unabashed assurance with which he pronounces 
his dictum on the merits of his predecessors and contemp- 
oraries, — the tacit assumption which he makes of his own 
superiority, — the various character and prodigious extent 
of his erudition, superficial as it unquestionably was, — the 
variety and happiness of his illustrations, — the brilliancy 
of his metaphors, — and above all the inimitable graces of 
his style, combining with the form of an essay the spirit 
fire of an oration, have imposed upon the vulgar ; aud 
but those who can look beneath the surface will discover, 
without much difficulty, that the inside of the cup and 
the platter is scarcely answerable to the splendour of 
the external show. 

Nothing can be more absurd than the attempt which 
has been made to represent Bolingbroke as a man more 
sinned against than sinning, and animated at heart by a 
sincere desire to serve his country, though occasionally the 
ardour of his passions drove him into perilous errors, li 


there be one feature of his character which stands out more 
prominently than another, it is an utter and heartless want 
of principle. From the commencement of his career down 
to the day of his death, personal ambition, or the spleen of 
the moment, was the mainspring of his actions. Signal- 
izing his entrance upon public life by a desertion of the 
principles in which he had been educated, — voluntarily 
becoming the most active persecutor of his earliest friends 
and connections, — professing to forward his own ambitious 
views, devoted attachment to a religion whose ministers he 
insulted, and whose altars he despised, — intriguing with a 
favourite, and corresponding with an exiled tyrant to sup- 
plant his colleague, — solemnly protesting his adherence 
to the Hanoverian succession, at the very time he was 
filling his projected cabinet with zealous Jacobites, — cring- 
ing to the minister by whom he had been impeached and 
exiled, — assuring that minister of his friendship and sup- 
port until he had obtained all the favours that could be 
granted, and then, with shameless ingratitude, organizing 
against him the most deadly opposition, — inveighing 
against parties, and himself the ringleader of the bitterest 
of factions, lauding the prerogative to flatter a sovereign, 
and declaiming for a liberty bordering upon licentiousness, 
to embarrass a ministry, — are traits in the character of this 
" ingrate and cankered Bolingbroke," which it would be 
cant and not candour, weakness and not wisdom, to forget 
or to forgive. Nothing could be more ludicrously incon- 
sistent than his professions of adherence to a family which 
had been driven from the throne for its attacks on popular 
rights, contrasted with the fiery vehemence of his tirades 
against the Whigs for attempting to enslave the nation. 
We defy any one to point out writings more deeply imbued 
with Whig principles, or more opposed to the political 
principles of Mr. St. John, than the letters in The Crafts- 
man, those on the " History of England," and the " Dis- 
sertation on Parties," by My L,ord Bolingbroke. Yet, in 
spite of this want of consistency, Bolingbroke never fell 


into the contempt which overtook his colleague and rival 
Harley, and which seldom fails to overtake all those who 
embark on the voyage of life without the ballast of 
honesty. Perhaps no two men actuated in the main by 
similar motives, and presenting certain general points of 
resemblance, ever differed more widely than Harley and 
Bolingbroke. Each was actuated chiefly by a love of 
power, — each was ready to stoop to any device for the in- 
crease or preservation of that power, — each acknowledged 
no ties of gratitude, and no laws of honour." 

Bolingbroke, however, left his mark on literature and 
the history of his time. He was the companion and some- 
times the friend of many of the foremost men of his day. 
Lord Chesterfield said that until he had read Bolingbroke's 
works he did not know the extent and power of the 
English language. Pitt, the younger, always gave great 
credit to the speeches and writings of Bolingbroke. Pope 
also praised his writings as being of a very high order of 
merit. There were about him some elements to admire, 
his indomitable energy, high intellect, and invincible 
spirit under difficulties. 

Bolingbroke's works were published in five volumes 
by Mallett in 1755. His Letters and Correspondence were 
published by G. Parke in two volumes (1798), and his 
" Life and Works " by Goldsmith in eight volumes (1809). 

Bishop Patrick. 

This learned bishop was vicar of Battersea in 1657, ne 
was also domestic chaplain to Sir Walter St. John. He 
published several pamphlets dealing with religious sub- 
jects, all of which he dedicated to his patron Sir Walter 
St. John. He was a firm Protestant with strong con- 
victions. He once entered into a controversy with two 
Roman Catholic priests before King James II., who at the 
conclusion said, "I never heard so good a cause so ill 


defended, or a bad one so well." Patrick was afterwards 
appointed Bishop of Winchester, and later of Ely. When 
he died in 1707 he left a collection of printed works, 
mostly on religious subjects, devotional and controversial, 
to William Lowth, father of the then Bishop of London. 

Dr. Thomas Church. 

This divine became notorious in his day for his con- 
troversial attacks upon the Revs. John Wesley and Whit- 
field, the great dissenters, and his defence of the early ages 
of Christianity. Iyord Bolingbroke, at one time was his 
patron, but in 1755 Doctor Church made some scathing 
comments on Bolingbroke's life and works in a book which 
he published anonymously, entitled, "An Analysis of the 
Works of Lord Bolingbroke." This work was very severe 
and created a deal of comment. He died vicar of Batter- 
sea in 1756, at the age of forty-nine. 

William Wilberforce. 

Although Battersea cannot claim Wilberforce as a 
native, it can rightfully claim him as a citizen, for it was 
in Battersea the best part of his life was spent, and much 
of his Parliamentary work was planned in his house in 
Broomwood Road, and that of Mr. Henry Thornton, on 
Battersea Rise (afterwards the residence of Mr. Percy 
Thornton, M.P.), where he met some of the foremost poli- 
ticians of his time. In his house " Broomfield," he often 
conferred with Clarkson, Burton, Macaulay, Granville 
Sharp, and Ramsey ; when they were carrying on their 
great work against slavery, their plans and projects were 
nearly all arranged in this historic house. 

In many of his letters written to friends in Yorkshire, 
he refers to Battersea and the beautiful county of Surrey, 



for which he has nothing but praise ; frequent passages in 
his diary also refer to Battersea. 

Wilberforce was born at Hull, August 24th, 1759, and 
at nine years of age was sent to live with an uncle at 
Wimbledon. His first school was at Putney where, he 
once said, " they taught everything, but I learnt nothing." 
He remained at this school for two years, after which he 
was sent to the Hull Grammar School, and at the age of 
seventeen was transferred to St. John's College, Cambridge, 
to complete his education. While at college he met Pitt, 
with whom he formed a life-long friendship. When his 
college days were over he inherited a large fortune and 
entered public life ; he sought a seat in Parliament in his 
native city, and was returned as member for Hull in 1780. 
It was at one of his political meetings during this election 
that his sister made a clever don mot. As she came upon 
the platform the audience with loud cheers shouted, " Miss 
Wilberforce for ever," when the cheers had subsided she 
came forward and thanked them for their kind reception, 
then, with a smile, said, " But to tell you the truth, I do 
not wish to be Miss Wilberforce for ever." 

His maiden speech in the House made a good impres- 
sion, and L,ord North complimented him, but his work in 
Parliament was not of much note until he took up the 
slave question, and he was induced to do this by reading a 
book written by the Rev. James Ramsey on the " Slave 
Trade." Ramsey was the pioneer and first mover in the 
agitation against the traffic in human beings ; Clarksou, 
Sharpe, and others took up the work, but it was Ramsey 
who bore the first brunt of the battle. Years after the 
victory was won, Wilberforce paid a high tribute to his 
memory, in which he said that Ramsey for years had 
fought in the great cause almost alone, until he sank under 
the burden of the strife, killed by the virulence of those 
who upheld the slave-owners. Again in 1789, Wilberforce, 
writing to a friend, says, " Poor Ramsey is dead, his 
wounded spirit has bowed before the storm and the malig- 


nant calumnies heaped upon him." Few historians men- 
tion James Ramsey as the pioneer of slave emancipation 
for he fell too early in the battle, but Wilberforce always 
remembered him as the great influence which decided him 
to take up the cause of the slaves. 

In November, 1792, writing to a friend, Wilberforce 
says, " Henry Thornton has bought L,ubbock House at 
Battersea Rise, and I am to share it with him, and pay so 
much per annum. Last night, with Grant and Thornton, 
I went over the grounds, they are in lovely condition, 
and the house is well situated, surrounded by Clapham 

Wilberforce now took up his work for the suppression 
of the slave-trade in the belief that God had called him to 
the strife, and armed him to fight for the liberty of the 
oppressed. He made every other interest subservient to 
the abolition cause, working almost night and day with 
Clarkson and his committee, of which Granville Sharp was 
chairman. Two days before the debate in the House, he 
met Fox, Pitt, and Grey at his house on Battersea Rise, 
where they debated the Slave Bill. When the question 
was before the House, Wilberforce spoke for three hours 
with immense effect. Burke said " that the nation and the 
whole of Europe were under obligation to the hon. member 
for one of the finest speeches ever heard in that House, 
which was not surpassed by the Grecian eloquence." But 
the time for emancipation had not yet come, the public 
conscience had not been awakened. Those in the slave- 
trade who were amassing their gold in the unholy traffic 
were not going to give it up without a severe struggle. 
The voices of Buxton, Sharpe, Clarkson, Stephens, and 
Macaulay were sending their clarion notes throughout the 
land on behalf of the helpless black. 

In the first session of the 1796 Parliament, Wilberforce 
again brought up his Slave Bill, and was again defeated. 
He had now given up his fortune to the cause, the large 
expenditure of money which was required to carry on the 


work caused a great strain upon his purse, and his heart 
often sickened at seeing his energy and money sacrificed 
through the apathy of luke-warm friends, and the intrigues 
of interested enemies ; yet he was cheered in his work by 
many true friends who recognised the great battle he was 
fighting in the cause of humanity. John Wesley, during 
his last illness, wrote to Wilberforce a letter of great 
encouragement, "God be with you," he said, "may you 
succeed in your glorious work against this scandal of 
religion, of Kngland, and of human nature. Unless God 
has raised you up for this work you will be worn out by 
the opposition of men and devils. Go on in the name of 
God is the prayer of your servant, John Wesley." This 
was the last letter Wesley wrote. 

Wilberforce spent nearly all of his leisure time at 
Battersea Rise, where he was visited by the foremost men 
engaged in the anti-slave crusade, his constant friend was 
Henry Thornton, who did much to encourage him in his 
work. Here he met Southey the poet, and Dr. Chalmers, 
whom he found delightful company. In ] 793 he wrote his 
best known work, " Practical Christianity," which has 
gone through many editions. 

On May 30th, 1804, Wilberforce got the first reading 
of his Bill passed by one hundred and twenty four votes 
to forty-nine. This was a great victory, and from that day 
the issue of the question was clear, for three years later, in 
1807, the first Bill for the Abolition of the Slave Trade 
passed the House, but this was only one step towards total 
abolition, which did not come until many years after. 

Wilberforce had now left Battersea Rise and taken 
" Broomfield," in what is now Broomwood Road. The 
Rev. Hughes, an eminent Battersea divine, often visited 
here. On May 15th, 1830, Wilberforce, now feeble and old, 
took the chair at a great Anti-Slave Meeting held in the 
old Freemason's Hall ; this was his last public meeting. 
Shortly after this he left Battersea to live at Kensington 
Gore. Writing to a friend at the time he says : " It is not 


without great regret I give up my house at Battersea, a 
place endeared to me by much happiness, both at Battersea 
Rise and ' Broomfield.' The memory of the pleasant hours 
I have spent there will never fade." 

In July, 1833, when his life was drawing to a close, 
news was brought to him that Parliament had passed 
another Bill against slavery. This Bill imposed a payment 
of twenty millions sterling in compensation to the slave- 
owners. "Thank God," he exclaimed, "that I have lived 
to see Kngland willing to make such a sacrifice for the 
abolition of the traffic in human beings." A few days 
after receiving this information, July 29th, he passed away 
at the age of seventy-four. He had wished to be buried at 
Stoke Newington, where his daughter and a sister are 
buried, but the Members of both Houses of Parliament ex- 
pressed a strong desire that he should lie in Westminster 
Abbey, which the family agreed to. The public funeral 
took place on August 5th, when all business was suspended. 
The Speaker of the Commons, the L,ord Chancellor, and a 
prince of the Royal House were pall-bearers. Inside the 
Abbey were assembled those most renowned for talent and 
greatness. Wilberforce was laid to rest in the north 
transept near his life-long friends, Fox, Canning and Pitt. 

The press and the platform were loud in their praise 
of the life and work of this man, who had devoted his life 
to the welfare of his fellows. The edition of The Age 
said : " The nations are indebted to Wilberforce for a phil- 
anthropy which has humanized mankind, and illustrious 
deeds and words which show him as the best benefactor 
of his time." 

His townsmen of Hull raised a Doric column to his 
memory ; this memorial is one hundred and two feet high, 
surmounted with a statue of the great philanthropist and 
statesman. The house where he was born in the High 
Street has been bought by the Hull Corporation, and is 
now open as a museum of Wilberforce relics. 

Wilberforce was not one of the most brilliant men of 


his time. His education, training, and wealth were the 
dominating factors by which he reached his position in the 
history of his time ; he concentrated his life-work to the 
achievement of one object, which he attained. His char- 
acter was cast in a religious mould, he had strong faith in 
the existence of a supreme power, deep rooted, which 
governed the whole of his life. 

John Gardner, m.a. 

In 1778 John Gardner was installed vicar of Battersea. 
He was a man of fine artistic taste, and a constant 
exhibitor at the Royal Academy, where many of his 
pictures gained high commendation. In 1778 he pub- 
lished a portfolio entitled, " Views on the Rhine," but some 
of his best work was put into the views which he con- 
tributed to Williams' " History of Monmouthshire " ; 
very little of his work has come down to the present time. 
He died in 1808 at the age of seventy-nine and is buried 
in Battersea Parish Church. 

Thomas Asti,b, f.s.a. 

Thomas Astle, the antiquary, resided in Battersea at 
the close of the eighteenth century, and is buried in St. 
Mary's Churchyard. He was the keeper of His Majesty's 
records in the Tower of London, also a member of the 
Antiquarian Society, and one of the trustees of the British 
Museum. He was the author of many articles on Archseo- 
logia, and wrote a book on the origin of writing. He 
had one of the finest collections of manuscripts then 
known, which comprised several other collections ; on 
his death he left them in charge of the Marquis of 


Theodore Janssan. 

Another Battersea worthy, although not a native, was 
Theodore Janssan, the founder of the famous enamel 
works. His father was one of the Huguenots who came 
to England when the French Protestants were persecuted 
beyond endurance. He was wealthy and invested large 
sums of money in various companies. He was one of the 
directors of what was known as the " South Sea Bubble," 
by which he lost a large amount of money. In 1730 he 
invested money in property at Battersea, he died at 
Wimbledon in 1748 at the age of ninety, leaving a family 
of three daughters and five sons. Theodore, his third son, 
was in business as a bookseller at St. Paul's Churchyard, 
he afterwards became an alderman of the City, and was 
elected sheriff in 1749, and Lord Mayor in 1754. 

At this time Lord Stanley owned some property in 
Battersea, and was on friendly terms with Theodore 
Janssan, who had a few years previously commenced the 
enamel works at York House, in which Lord Stanley 
became interested. Robert Hancock, the famous line 
engraver, had been appointed in charge of the works. 
Janssan succeeded his brother, Sir Henry, in 1767, and 
became Sir Stephen Theodore Janssan. An article in The 
Gentleman' s Magazine, published in 1768, speaks in high 
terms of Sir Stephen, for whom there was much respect on 
account of his many virtues, both public and private. 
Janssan fell upon bad times and became bankrupt in 1756, 
his furniture and other effects were advertised for sale in 
The Public Advertiser, in the list of articles advertised 
were the following: "A quantity of beautiful enamels, 
coloured and uncoloured, of the new manufactory, York 
House, Battersea, and never yet exhibited to public view." 
The advertisement described the enamels in detail, con- 
sisting of candlesticks, patch boxes, snuff boxes, watch 
cases, toothpick cases, bottle tickets, and many others in 


a variety of patterns, round, square and oval, all fit for 
the cabinets, mounted on metal in fine gilt. A sale took 
place on Janssan's premises in St. Paul's Churchyard, 
which did not realize the amount expected, so another 
sale took place in June, 1756, when more Battersea enamels 
were sold, some of which were described as consisting 
of fine drawn pictures on watch cases, boxes, and oval 
plaques, also black enamels, and a quantity of stove plates 
and Dutch tiles. This was the last of the enamel works, 
for the advertisement goes on to announce that " all the 
tools and utensils belonging to the factory will be sold, 
also a quantity of frames and unfinished enamels." The 
factory was also offered for sale but did not find a pur- 
chaser, and a few years later was finally closed. This was 
the end of Janssans' connection with Battersea. 

Rev. Joseph Hughes, m.a. 

The name of Joseph Hughes will ever be connected 
with Battersea as one of its foremost citizens ; he was one 
of the founders of the Religious Tract Society and the 
Foreign Bible Society, in conjunction with Wilberforce, 
John, L,ord Teignmouth and Henry Thornton. He was 
also one of the pioneers of education. 

He came to Battersea about 1797, and was the first 
pastor at the York Road Baptist Chapel ; he found the 
system of educating the poorer class in a most unsatisfac- 
tory condition, many of the children being allowed to grow 
up in perfect ignorance of the rudiments of learning. 
Being a strong advocate of secular education he set to 
work to remedy this, got others interested in the work, 
and raised funds sufficient to make a commencement. 
Trustees were appointed to manage the funds, a large 
house in the York Road was then in the market, the 
trustees secured this, and after alterations, it was opened 
for twenty poor boys. The house had been known as 
Grove House, and the school was known by the same name. 



This house soon became too small in accommodation, and 
another house was taken, which met the requirements for 
some years, when the trustees decided to build a school, 
and what was later known as the Old Grove School in the 
York Road was built, this was pulled down in 191 1 and a 
new school erected on the site. When the old school was 
built, open fields, orchards and gardens, extended down 
beyond St. John's College, and about the school were a 
few old fashioned wooden cottages with red tiled roofs, 
the remnants of Battersea village. The school was for 
boys only, so when it had gained a firm footing in the good 
work of education, Mr. Hughes turned his attention to 
making the same provision for girls, which, after many 
difficulties had been overcome, he succeeded in doing, 
and a school was erected in Plough Lane (now Plough 

At this time Plough Lane was very rural, with hedges 
and meadow land stretching as far as Wandsworth Com- 
mon, with a few houses dotted here and there, and some 
Almshouses for eight poor widows, which were supported 
by Mrs. H. Tritton. At the top of the lane were two 
mansions facing St. John's Hill, one of them stood where 
the London County Council Board School is built, and 
was the house of Mr. Joseph Tritton, who gave the site 
for the girls' school, he was a great help to Mr. Hughes 
in his education work. Tritton Street is named after him. 
Part of the other mansion still remains and is now the 
Battersea Grammar School. The Rev. May-Soule was 
another and later worker for the education of the poor, 
he is also kept in memory by the naming of a road, but 
the best memorial to these past worthies is the good work 
they did, and its effect upon those who came after them to 
carry on the work. The Plough Lane Girls' School was 
pulled down in 1905 when the Borough Council built the 
Plough Road Institute on the site. 

Mr. Hughes died in 1833, and is buried in Bunhill 


John Cullum. 

John Cullum was an artist of some local reputation. 
He was born in Battersea in 1801 ; he was an earnest worker 
for the uplifting of public morals, and the general good of 
the people, and was the first person to introduce the 
teetotal pledge into Battersea. But he is most interesting 
as having kept a record of events regarding Battersea, 
before and during his time. The following extracts are of 
interest : 

" The Rev. John Wesley preached in Battersea, Nov- 
ember 4th, 1766, and on several other occasions. The first 
Wesleyan chapel was built in 1846 in the Bridge Road 
West ; in connection with this chapel was a Stranger's 
Friend Society, doing good work amongst " outcasts." 
The Priory, in Battersea Square, was built for religious 
instruction. Prior was the ecclesiastical title formerly 
given to the chief of a small monastry which was desig- 
nated a ' priory,' and was under the management of various 
officers. Many of these priories belonged to foreign mon- 
asteries of several religious orders. During the years from 
1400 to 1520 several of these priories were dissolved and 
the revenues taken over by different colleges in Oxford 
and Cambridge. Henry VIII. closed many of these houses 
and some of the revenue went to found new bishoprics of 
which Westminster was one." John Cullum died in 1852. 


IN 1750 an industry was commenced in Battersea by 
Stephen Theodore Janssan, the son of a French 
refugee, which was destined to become famous in the 
art world. The product of this industry was enamel work 
upon a copper basis, in various designs and shapes, which 
were used for many purposes, useful and ornamental. 
These enamels have attained a universal reputation, and 
are now sought after by all experts in enamel work, they 
are given the first place in the museums of Europe in 
their class of art work, and such is their reputation that 
no collection is complete without them, as among all 
old enamels they stand alone in beauty of colour, clear 
decorations and exquisite workmanship. No other enamels 
have been fired so perfectly, or finely, as the " Battersea." 
Not even the beautiful work of the Geneva enamels, 
or the dainty work of L,imoges, can compare with the 
work of Robert Hancock and his assistants, done at 
York House. Many and varied were those enamels 
in their make and use, they chiefly consisted of oval 
medallions, work boxes, needle boxes. Exquisite etui 
cases, fitted with scissors, bodkin and thimble. Tiny 
scent cases, with small cut bottle enclosed, coat and 
sleeve buttons, door and chest handles, card trays, knife 
handles, candle sticks, snuff boxes, salt cellars, patch 
boxes, ink stands, portraits of celebrities, wine bottle 
labels, jewel caskets, landscape views, scent bottles, writing 
cases, tea caddies, glove boxes, enamel boxes decorated 
with heads of women, negroes, dogs, boars, doves, gold- 








finches, bullfinches, the fruit of lemons, and peaches, 
red moss roses, and full blown pinks, portrait plaques, 
flower plaques, and plaques painted with all kinds of 
subjects. Most of these articles were worked in colours 
of purple, grassy green, rose, green, grey, turquoise or 
orange, the candle sticks in white or pink dotted with 
small flowers. 

Janssan engaged French artists to paint the dainty 
little love scenes, and the exquisite landscapes which orna- 
mented the beautifully finished work boxes. During the 
first period of the manufacture, the decoration was done 
by hand, these are real works of art. A French engraver 
named Revenet evolved the idea of transfer printing, then 
an unknown art in England, and he produced some of the 
most interesting products of the Battersea factory, such 
as the well-known portrait enamels, which were transfer 
printed entirely. King George II., George III., Queen 
Charlotte, Frederick, Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cum- 
berland, Peter the Great, Frederick, King of Prussia, the 
Young Pretender, the beautiful Miss Gunnings, Pitt, and 
Horace Walpole are among the notable portraits. Revenet 
was noted for the refinement of his work as a copper plate 
engraver, he also worked in the Chelsea pottery, where 
Janssan had some interest. Revenet died in 1774. 

Robert Hancock was the chief in charge of the works, 
but he had some able men under him. John Hall was a 
skilful painter upon china, who was in the Battersea works 
till they closed, when he went to the Chelsea pottery, where 
some enamel work was being done. Another clever work- 
man was a man named Brooke, who worked at the Bow 
pottery at a later date. The best transfer printer engaged 
at York House was George Lewis, who left Battersea to go 
to Worcester, where he worked in the china factory. He 
died in 1790. 

Parquin, in his "Artists of Ireland," mentions that 
James Gwinn, a native of Kildare, came to England in 
1755, and was employed near London at the Battersea 


enamel works, where he made designs for box-lids. He 
died in 1776. 

The art of enamelling is very ancient, metals were 
enamelled by the Chinese and Egyptians at a time when 
our ancestors were in a very primitive state ; at a much 
more recent date the art of enamelling upon copper was 
practised in France, and probably was brought to England 
by the Huguenots. The founder of the Battersea works 
was the son of one of these refugees. Similar work was 
also done in Prussia, but in a more crude form, yet the 
process was much the same, the melting of glassy sub- 
stances of various qualities and colours on to a metal 

Geneva enamels had also been made, Limoges pro- 
duced Gothic pictures and altar ware in enamels, but 
none were equal to the best work done at York House. 
M. Roquet, who had painted enamels at Geneva, published 
a book in 1775, entitled, "The State of the Arts in 
England," and in a chapter on English porcelain he says, 
" There are three or four china works in the London 
suburbs, the chief being at Chelsea," he then goes on to say 
that " in the village of Battersea some very fine enamels 
are being made," and gives the following account of their 
manufacture : " These enamels are made upon a copper 
basis which is coated with a mixture of liquid glass and 
tin, the transfer-printing being done from paper impres- 
sions which had been taken from engraved copper plates, 
the still wet ink of the impression being carefully pressed 
and set off upon the enamel, then came the brush work, 
the colours and the gold." Another authority gives the 
following as the mode of transfer-printing : " The cut of 
the engraving must be so open as to contain a sufficient 
quantity of a substance, which should be the calx or lime 
and metal mixed with a small quantity of liquid glass. 
The impression is made on paper, the printed side of which 
is afterwards applied to the part of the porcelain intended 
to be printed, having first rubbed it with thick oil of tur- 


pentine; the paper is then taken off carefully, and the work 
is put to the fire. When once a subject is designed and 
engraved, it becomes a considerable saving to the manu- 
facturer by the repetition of its applications." 

Collectors regard the transfer-printed enamels as the 
most valuable, as they are now very rare; some of the 
plates engraved by Hancock are still in existence (1913). 
The raised work upon many of the enamels consisted of 
enamel itself, which was put on with a brush. 

Horace Walpole was a great admirer of these enamels, 
writing to his friend Richard Bentley in 1755, he says, " I 
am sending a snuff box as a sample of the new manu- 
facture at Battersea which is done on copper plates." 
Chaffer, who was an authority on this class of art work, 
gave high praise to Battersea enamels. Walpole was the 
first collector of Battersea enamels, some other famous 
collectors were Lady Schreiber, Octavius Morgan, Dudley 
McDonald, Charles Kennedy, Mr. Franks, Mrs. Halburtou 
and Charles Burradaile. The Schreiber collection is now 
in the South Kensington Museum, and the Franks collec- 
tion was bequeathed to the British Museum. Franks was 
an authority on enamels, and was employed as keeper for 
many years at the British Museum. There is also a collec- 
tion in the Battersea Municipal Museum. 

The largest collection of Battersea enamels was made 
by Mr. Charles Storr Kennedy, which was exhibited at the 
Guelp Exhibition in 1891, some of these enamels were 
dated 1762 and later, which was after the works were closed 
by Janssan ; there is some evidence that the work was 
continued after Janssan left, by Brooks, who worked under 
Janssan, and these dates go to support this. Some of the 
portraits are of George III. and Queen Charlotte, and as 
George III. did not commence his reign until 1760, this 
enamel must have been made after that date, one of these 
enamels is now in the Battersea Museum. 

The enamel works were not a commercial success, and 
after passing through various vicissitudes, were finally 


closed about 1760. At the sale, when the works closed 
down, a number of Dutch decorated tiles and stove plates 
were included in the catalogue, from this some writers 
assume that they were made at the enamel works, but it is 
more likely that the tiles, which were delf-ware, had been 
made at the L,ambeth pottery works, which were then in 
existence, and sent to the Battersea enamel works for the 
printing and burning of the decorations. 

Battersea enamels are now very rare, the earliest dated 
piece is 1753, the greater number being in the cabinets of 
collectors and in public museums. The few that come into 
the market fetch high prices, and their value is constantly 
increasing ; this has caused many forgeries to be placed on 
the market, these come mostly from France and Germany, 
some of them are remarkably good imitations, but they 
lack the daintiness and grace of the originals, the 
colouring is crude, and the absence of "hair" cracks in 
the enamel is a sure sign of the fraud, for hardly a piece 
of "Battersea" now exists which is perfect, there is a 
freshness about the colours of the imitation which should 
warn the collector. 

The value of Battersea enamels has a wide range. 
The highest amount paid for a single piece was ^250, which 
was given for a large box beautifully finished and of the 
best period. ^15 was given for a small box with transfer- 
printed picture of King George and Queen Charlotte, and 
^22 for a pair of candlesticks, in perfect condition. Small 
patch boxes and trinket boxes in good condition have 
fetched £3 to ^5 each. Two needle cases for twenty- four 
guineas was a recent price, thirty-seven guineas for three 
others, and twelve and a half guineas for another (1912). 
An oblong casket, painted with landscapes and figures in 
colours, with richly gilt borders on a white ground, sold 
for eighty-six guineas, another made sixty-eight guineas, 
and a third, with a pair of smaller boxes en suite, seventy- 
two guineas. 

At the sale of the " Halburton" collection of Battersea 


and Bilston enamels, a pink enamel box seven and three 
quarter inches by eight and a quarter inches, painted with 
landscapes and gilt scroll work, sold for ^240, and a 
similar box less in size made ^115. Two other Battersea 
boxes sold for £iqo each. 

About the same time as the Battersea enamels were 
made, similar work was being done in France. During the 
reign of Louis XVI., Petitot, the famous enameller, was 
producing some of his best work, which was done on fine 
gold, hence the high price these enamels command, a single 
specimen having fetched ^800. Other enamel works at this 
date were at Bilston, Birmingham and Liverpool. The 
Bilston enamels were made by George Brett, between 
1760 and 1780. The Birmingham works did ornamental 
and transfer decorations in enamel. The Liverpool pot- 
ters, Sadler and Green, did enamel work chiefly upon tiles, 
etc., and they claimed to be the original inventors of 
transfer-printing, but their transfer-printed tiles were not 
produced until 1756, and the first dated piece of Battersea 
enamel is 1753. Sadler claimed the invention from 1749, 
the date when he first commenced to experiment in trans- 
fer work. Henry Bone, R.A., who died in 1834, was a 
painter of pictures on enamel, and he did some fine work 
for the Bristol China Company. Hancock was the first 
engraver at Battersea, some of his early work bearing his 
mark, R.H.F. 

Dr. Richard Pocock, author of "Travels through 
England," visited the Battersea enamel works, and the 
beautiful workmanship received his high commendation. 



Yore House. 

THIS house stood on part of the site of Price's candle 
works, the massive iron entrance gates were near 
the old creek, which flowed down from Clapham 
Common to the river ; the pumping station stands on the 
site of the entrance to York House, in front of which, in 
old days, was a fine lawn with a magnificent cedar tree in 
the centre, and round the lawn was a broad carriage drive. 
The mansion was built in 1480, by Lawrence Booth, a 
bishop of Durham and York, as a residence for himself and 
his successors, when called to London on any business 
connected with the church. The house and grounds were 
annexed to the see of York ; they were enclosed with a 
wall of great strength. When Booth died he bequeathed his 
estate in Battersea to the see of York, for the maintenance 
of a charity. History records that a royal barge landed its 
occupants at York Creek, and we find that Queen Elizabeth 
went from Greenwich to York House in the state barge ; 
and that Archbishop Hulgate lived here when he was 
committed to the Tower by order of Queen Mary, in 1553. 
Old records go to prove that his captors rifled the house of 
all its valuables, including over ^"300 in coin, sixteen 
thousand ounces of plate, a mitre of pure gold, some very 
fine diamonds, sapphires, and other precious stones, also 
pearls and rings of great value were taken. These valu- 
ables were never returned, and Hulgate ultimately lost his 
archbishopric, in addition to his valuables. 


There is a letter among the State papers, dated August 
22nd, 1580, from Archbishop Sandys to John Wicklifie, 
keeper of the York House at Battersea, in which he directs 
Wicklifie to deliver up the house to the Lords of the 
Council, so that it might be turned into a prison for 
obstinate Papists. During the Commonwealth, York 
House was sold to Sir Allan Apsley for ^1,800, but it was 
retained by the See after the Restoration. 

It was in this house that Henry VIII. met Anne 
Boleyn, and here the scene took place described in Shake- 
speare's play " Henry VIII.," which was written from 
information given by Queen Elizabeth, within fitty years 
of the event. Anne Boleyn was related to the St. John's, 
and her father, Sir Thomas Boleyn, resided near York 
House. Anne was one of the guests at a reception 
when the king was present. Some writers contend that 
this interview between Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII. took 
place at York House, Whitehall, but there is much 
tangible evidence to show that it took place at York 
House, Battersea. 

In 1814, Sir Richard Phillips visited York House and 
thus describes his visit: "I visited York House at Battersea 
and was much interested, as it has many historical associa- 
tions. It is now used as a distillery, and is in the charge 
of a Mr. Benwell, who takes a great deal of interest in the 
house, and he fully believes that this is the house referred 
to by Shakespeare. He informed me that a few years since 
he had pulled down a superb room, called the ball-room, the 
panels of which were curiously painted, and the divisions 
silvered. He says, too, that the room had a dome and a 
richly ornamented ceiling, and that he once saw an ancient 
print, representing the first interview of Henry VIII. with 
Anne Boleyn, in which the room was portrayed exactly 
like the one that, in modernizing his house, he had found 
it necessary to destroy — though, as relics, he had pre- 
served several of the painted panels. The house is now in 
a modern style, and of good size, yet he told me, in digging 


in the adjoining grounds, they constantly met with consid- 
erable foundations, thus showing that the house had been 
much larger at one time." 

There was also a York House of some note at Twick- 
enham, which was confounded with the York House at 
Battersea, as it was much frequented by high personages 
and royalty. Queen Anne was born there on February 6th, 
1665. Lord Clarendon resided there and entertained on a 
large scale ; it was afterwards the home of Karl Lonsdale 
down to 1844. 

Sir Edward Winter, the African traveller, lived and 
died at York House. Theodore Janssan, a French refugee, 
purchased York House estate about 1745, and lived there 
some years; in 1750 his son Stephen Theodore Janssan 
commenced the manufacture of the world-famed Battersea 
enamels, which were made at this house until the works 
closed in 1762. For many years it remained a private 
residence. Mrs. Fitzherbert was once in residence, and 
George IV., when Prince of Wales, was a visitor, and 
many other notabilities of that time visited the house. 
Before its demolition it was a home for the mentally 


This mansion was the manor house of Battersea, and 
stood on the river front in its own grounds. Some idea of 
its size can be gained from the fact that it contained forty 
rooms on one floor ; and here Lord Bolingbroke, in the 
heyday of his power, entertained some of the most fore- 
most men of his day. Alexander Pope was a constant 
visitor, and had a room wherein he wrote much of his 
poetry, including part of his "Kssay on Man." This room 
was known as the Cedar Room, being lined with cedar 

In the summer of 1729 Pope paid one of his visits to 
Bolingbroke House, when, in conversation, Lord Boling- 


broke suggested that Pope should write a poem on the 
hopes, fears, aspirations, and moods of man. Pope was 
pleased with the suggestion, and during his stay wrote the 
greater part of his " Essay on Man," an ethical poem, 
which he dedicated to Bolingbroke, this is shewn in the 
opening lines of the poem : — 

" Awake, my St. John ! leave all meaner things 
To low ambition, and the pride of kings." 

Lord Chesterfield met here some of his best friends, as 
also did Dean Swift and Chatham. The house stood near 
the old church, the grounds and out-houses reaching down 
to what is now Church Street. This fine mansion was 
pulled down in 1793, and, when the estate was alienated, 
the whole building was razed with the exception of a few 
rooms which now form part of Mayhew's flour mills in 
Church Street. This wreck of the great house is interest- 
ing, for it contains the historic cedar room already referred 
to, and the visitor will see on some of the walls, traces of 
the paintings in panel, by Verrio and Tagorre. 

A traveller early in the nineteenth century thus 
describes a visit to Bolingbroke House : — 

" On inquiring for an ancient inhabitant of Battersea, 
I was introduced to a Mrs. Gilliard, a very pleasant and 
intelligent lady, who told me she well remembered Lord 
Bolingbroke. He used to ride out a good deal in his 
chariot, and had a black patch on his cheek, with a large 
wart over his eyebrows. She was then but a girl, and she 
was taught to look upon him with veneration, as a great 
man. He spent little in Battersea and gave nothing away, 
and he was not much liked among the people of the village. 
I then went to visit the site of Bolingbroke House, and 
found Mr. Hodgson, a maltster and distiller, and the 
proprietor of the elevated horizontal air mill, which serves 
as a landmark for many miles round. But, in his employ- 
ments, there is nothing novel or uncommon to describe, 
and his mill, its elevated shaft, its vanes, and its weather 
or wind boards, curious as they would have been on any 


other site, lost all their interest on this ! By what caprice 
of fate, I exclaimed, is the dwelling of Bolingbroke con- 
verted into a malthouse and mill ? This house, once 
sacred to philosophy and poetry, long sanctified by the 
residence of the noblest genius of his age, honoured by the 
frequent visits of Pope, and the birth-place of the immortal 
* Kssay on Man,' is now appropriated to the basest uses ! 
The house of Bolingbroke become a windmill — the spot on 
which the " Essay on Man " was concocted and produced, 
converted into a distillery of pernicious spirits ! Are these 
the sports of fortune ? Are such the means by which an 
eternal agency sets at nought the ephemeral consequence 
of man ? But yesterday, this spot was the resort, the hope, 
and the seat of happiness of Bolingbroke, Pope, Swift, 
Arbuthnot, Thomson, Mallet, and all the contemporary 
genius of England — yet a few whirls of the earth round the 
sun, the change of a figure in the date of the year, and the 
group has vanished, while in its place I behold hogs and 
horses, malt-bags and barrels, stills and machinery! 
" Alas," said I, to the worthy occupier, " and are these the 
representatives of more human genius than England may 
ever witness on one spot again ? " " No, sir," he rejoined, 
"I love the name of Bolingbroke, and I preserve the house 
as well as I can, with religious veneration. I often smoke 
my pipe in Mr. Pope's parlour, and think of him as I walk 
the part of the terrace opposite his room and next the 
water." He then conducted me to this interesting parlour, 
which is of brown polished oak, with a grate, and orna- 
ments of the age of George I. ; and before its window stood 
the portion of the terrace upon which the malthouse had 
not encroached, with the Thames moving majestically 
under its wall. I was on holy ground — I did not take off 
my shoes — but I doubtless felt what pilgrims feel as they 
approach the temples of Jerusalem, Mecca, or Jaggernaut ! 
Of all poems, and of all codes of wisdom, I admire the 
'Essay on Man' and its doctrines the most, and in this 
room it was probably planned, discussed, and written ! 




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Mr. Hodgson told me this had always been called Pope's 
room, and he had no doubt it was the apartment usually 
occupied by that great poet in his visits to his friend 

Besides this room, several other parts of the original 
house remain, and are occupied and kept in good order. 
Mr. Hodgson told me, however, that this is but a wing of 
the mansion, which extended in L,ord Bolingbroke's time 
to the churchyard of St. Mary, the land is now occupied 
by the malthouse and its warehouses." 

The Red House. 

A famous house, which stood on the river bank near 
Chelsea Bridge, on the Vauxhall side, dating from the time 
of Queen Elizabeth. It was built of red brick with white 
pointings, and only had one storey above the ground floor. 
The house contained fourteen rooms ; the windows on 
the lower floor had wood shutters painted green ; these 
shutters had large bolts which fastened on the inside. 
The roof was slated. 

In the gardens were a number of small arbours, which 
were decorated with Flemish and other paintings, and in 
the centre of the grounds was a well-stocked fish pond, 
which was always an attraction. Behind the house was a 
large shooting ground, where pigeon shooting matches, 
and other sports and games took place during the summer 
months. These matches brought much discredit upon the 
house, as most of them took place on Sunday mornings, 
and attracted some of the worst characters in London. 
The gardens were illuminated every night with oil lamps, 
which were hung about the grounds. Seats and benches 
were placed in the gardens among the trees for the 
accommodation of visitors. From each end of the grounds 
a flight of steps led down to the river for the purpose of 
landing passengers and watermen. 


Charles Dickens mentions " The Red House " in 
"Sketches by Boz," when the "swells" of society used to 
meet here to engage in pigeon shooting and other amuse- 
ments. This was prior to the time when Hurlingham 
became the fashionable resort. The Red House was the 
winning post for most of the boat races which took place 
on the river, some of which were of importance in their 
day. In 1825 a prize wherry was rowed for by seven 
pairs of oars, the course being from Westminster Bridge to 
the Red House. The prize was given by the actor, 
Edmund Kean. At this time the Oxford and Cambridge 
boat race was rowed from Westminster Bridge to Putney, 
and the Red House was considered the best point of view 
on the river. 

Calburn, in his "Kalendar of Amusements" (1840), 
says. " The Red House at Battersea takes the lead for 
pigeon shooting, as all the crack shots assemble there tor 
matches of importance, and the shooting is so good that 
it seldom occurs that a single bird escapes." Col. Saxby, 
in his book on " The Municipal Parks of London," says 
that the Red House was celebrated for its flounder break- 
fasts, the fish being plentiful in the Thames at that date. 
In the month of August a great sucking-pig dinner 
was held, at which many noblemen assembled ; and the 
officers from Whitehall used to make the trip to the Red 
House on account of the novelty of the meals, and the 
fresh air. Charles Dickens was a visitor to the Red House 
about this time, and took much interest in a raven which 
was kept there, named " Gyp," which greatly amused 
Dickens by his cunning tricks, and funny, artful ways, and 
may have given him some inspiration for creating his 
raven "Grip" in " Barnaby Rudge." 

In the nineteenth century fairs were held in the grounds 
of the Red House, but became so rowdy that they had 
to be discontinued. The Rev. Thomas Kirk, a well-known 
divine in his day, made a strong protest against the scandal 
of the Red House, as follows: " If ever there was a place 


out of hell, which surpassed Sodom and Gomorrah in 
ungodliness and abomination, this was it. I have gone to 
this sad spot on the Lord's Day, when there have been 
horse and donkey races, foot racing, walking matches, 
comic actors, shameless dancers, gamblers, drinking 
booths, and fortune-tellers, but it would be impossible 
to describe the unmentionable doings of this pandemonium 
on earth." He then goes on to say, " I asked a pier-man 
how many people were landed on Sundays at the pier, 
and he said, when the weather was fine, from ten to fifteen 
thousand." This influx was in addition to the arrivals 
by road, the total number of visitors on a Sunday being 
computed at fifty to sixty thousand. 

In its early history, the Red House had a good reputa- 
tion as a popular resort for pleasure-seekers, aquatic 
sportsmen, and watermen, but in later years fell into bad 
repute. It was well known for many a debauch, many 
an assignation, and many other things besides pigeon 
shooting. Some of the incidents which happened there 
are best hidden in the blur of the past. 

When Battersea Park was in course of construction in 
1844, the Red House, with all its shooting ground and 
adjacent premises, was purchased by the Commissioners, 
the sum paid being ^10,000. The buildings were then 
demolished, and so ended the once famous Red House, 
with all its reputations and traditions. 

Sherwood Lodge. 

An old-time mansion, near the corner of Lombard 
Road, facing York Road. A small portion of this building 
still exists, being part of Price's Candle Works. It 
was one of the finest residences on the river front, and was 
shaded with lime, sycamore, and poplar trees. Many 
celebrated families lived here, the first being Jens Wolfe, 
who was the Danish consul ; he was a collector of works 



of art, and had a valuable collection of antique statues and 
plaster casts, the most valuable being those from the 
" Fighting Gladiators," the " Barberini Faun," the " Dying 
Gladiator," and " Hercules." Another occupier was Sir 
Edward East, who lived there many years ; a later tenant 
was Sir George Wombwell, who, with Lady Wombwell, 
entertained on a grand scale. Sir George's son was 
aide-de-camp to Earl Cardigan, and rode with him "into 
the Valley of Death" at Balaclava. The Wombwells 
were the last family of note to reside at Sherwood Lodge. 
The old Falcon Brook ran down from Lavender Hill by 
the side of the Lodge to the river. 


Broomfield, a large house, which stood in its own 
grounds, about the centre of what is now Broomwood 
Road, takes its place in history as being the home of 
William Wilberforce, and the house in which was founded 
the British Bible Society, and the Church Missionary 
Society ; and as the birthplace of Canon Wilberforce, once 
Bishop of Winchester. Many eminent men have met in 
this house to confer with Wilberforce, when he was fighting 
for the emancipation of the slaves. Among those men of 
the time who visited at Broomfield were Burke, Fox, Gran- 
ville Sharp, Clarkson, Lord Castlereagh, Lord Macaulay, 
and the Rev. Hughes, a noted Battersea Divine, whom 
Wilberforce had a great respect for. 

That earnest band of Christian men, known as the 
Clapham Sect, also met in this house for some time, and 
did much of their work there. 

A memorial meeting was held in the grounds of 
Broomfield House, those who had worked in the anti- 
slave crusade meeting for thanksgiving, when the first 
Slave Emancipation Bill passed into law. On this 
occasion Wilberforce received congratulations from all 


parts of the civilised world. Modern villas now stand 
upon the site of this historic house. The London County 
Council have affixed a tablet to one of the villas, which 
notifies that Broomfield, the home of Wilberforce, stood 
on that site. 

Lubbock House, Battersea Rise. 

Standing in its own spacious grounds, Lubbock House 
was an old-fashioned mansion, built in the early eighteenth 
century, and, as a building, calls for no special note. Its 
historical interest rests in its connection with the men of 
note, who lived, or visited there, during the first fifty years 
of its existence. 

The house was built by a Mr. Lubbock, who was a 
banker of repute, and an ancestor of Lord Avebury. 
In 1792 it was purchased by Henry Thornton, a prominent 
citizen of Clapham, whose family has always been held in 
high esteem. It remained the ancestral home of the 
Thornton family, until it was demolished to make room for 
modern villas. The last tenant was Mr. Percy Thornton, 
who was the Member of Parliament for Clapham. 

Soon after Henry Thornton purchased Lubbock 
House, William Wilberforce went to live with him, and 
they resided there, in bachelor estate, until Thornton 
married, when Wilberforce took " Broomfield " as his new 

One of the chief attractions in this old house was the 
oval library, which was designed by William Pitt. In this 
room Wilberforce met and conferred with some of the 
foremost men of his day, including Fox, Clarkson, Gran- 
ville Sharp, Macaulay, Buxton, and Pitt, and planned 
much of the work for carrying on the anti-slave crusade. 
Lubbock House is also memorable as being the home 
of the " Clapham Sect," a Christian body of men who 
were given that name by Sydney Smith. The grounds 


of Lubbock House were very fine, studded with fine elms, 
cedars, and Scotch firs, and bright with tulips and other 
flowers ; in these grounds Sir Walter Scott used to stroll, 
and Hannah More roamed; Robert Southey rested under 
the shady elms, and Zachary Macaulay stood listening to 
the singing of the birds. These celebrities were visitors 
at Ivubbock House, in their day. 

There were other old-time houses in and around 
Battersea, but their history does not call for any special 




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BATTERSEA, like most places with a historic past, 
can claim to have several noted taverns, or inns, 
some of which have their place in histoiy. There 
is a quaint charm about an old-time inn, which sets the 
imagination to work and claims attention. We picture 
the old merry group gathered by the ingle nook, passing 
away the time with jest and joke. There were rare good 
times in those days for the host and his guests, — the time 
when the Georges were on the throne. The inns were 
cosy and comfortable, with spacious rooms and old- 
fashioned home comforts. The little diamond-shaped 
windows, out of which the traveller watched the approach 
of the stage-coach, or the passing of the flying mail coach, 
which was then looked upon as the consummation of quick 
transit. An old-time book, now as rare as it is curious, 
called "The London Spy," conducted by Ned Ward, gives 
some amusing tales of the doings in those old-time taverns 
when Swift, Addison, Johnson, Steele, and many other 
worthies of that time, cracked their jokes over steaming 
bowls of punch. 

One of the most ancient taverns in Battersea was the 
old " Falcon," which was built nearly 300 years ago. The 
original house stood near where the present "Falcon" 
stands, it was surrounded by orchards and floral gardens, 
flanking on country lanes, with few houses until the village 
of Wandsworth was reached. A later house, built about 
the beginning of the nineteenth century, was kept by a 
man named Robert Death, and at this time the house was 


a place of call for undertakers on their return from the 
burial ground ; some of these men and their friends often 
got merry in their cups, and it was not an uncommon 
sight to see a funeral-party dancing on the green in front 
of the inn. The artist, John Nixon, was so much amused 
by the landlord's name that he painted a picture of the 
tavern entitled " Drinking at Death's door," in which he 
depicted a merry lot of undertakers disporting themselves 
in front of the inn. This satire has many times been 
copied, the original is in the British Museum. 

About a century ago, when Mr. Robert Death was 
landlord of the " Falcon," the following lines were written: 

"Oh stop not here, ye sottish wights, 
For purl, nor ale, nor gin, 
For if you stop, whoe'er alights, 
By Death is taken in. 

When having eat and drank your fill 

Should ye, O hapless case. 
Neglect to pay your landlord's bill — 

Death stares you in the face. 

With grief sincere, I pity those 

Whove drawn themselves this scrape in, 

Since from his dreadful grip, Heaven knows, 
Alas ! there's no escaping. 

This one advice, my friends pursue, 

Whilst you have life and breath, 
Ne'er pledge your host, for if you do, 

You'll surely drink to Death." 

The " White Hart," in Lombard Road, dates back 
to 1600. Charles II. was a frequent visitor to this house 
when he was in his merry moods, and it was while 
staying here that he almost lost his life. Colonel Blood, 
who some time afterwards attempted to steal the crown 
jewels, confessed to having had designs upon the king's 


liie. Blood hid near Battersea Priory, where a sub- 
terranean passage led to the river bank close to the place 
where the king came to bathe. He had been chosen to 
kill the king by a body of men who resented the king's 
interference with their religious opinions. Blood relented 
at the last moment, and the king returned to the inn. 
Rapier, in his history of England, says that Charles II. 
not only forgave him, but settled a pension of ^500 per 
annum upon him for life. 

The "Old Swan," near the Parish Church, is an 
historic house, and has been immortalised in song by 
Dibdin in one of his operettas. This tavern was the resort 
of the old river watermen, who were an important class 
at that time ; it was also the headquarters of some of the 
boating crews when the Thames Regatta was an institu- 
tion. For many years the "Old Swan" was the most 
popular tavern on the river front. 

In the Plough Lane (Plough Road) was an inn of some 
repute in its day, known as the " Old House," famous for 
its home-brewed ales. It was a favourite house with the 
market gardeners and Sunday morning travellers, who 
used to disport themselves on the grass and under the 
oak trees which stood near the house. 

The " Raven," in the High Street, is another old inn 
with a past, for old records show that the " Merry 
Monarch " often visited this house, and many scenes of 
revelry took place within its walls. 

The "Star and Garter," and the "Castle," are both 
taverns which have an interesting past, dating from the 
seventeenth century ; the hey-day of their prosperity were 
in the old coaching days, before the advent of railways, 
but their days of interest have long passed away. 

Past Battersea Fields, towards the end of the parish, 
stood the "Nine Elms Tavern," which was built in the 
days when all this part of Battersea was a wild open space, 
with here and there a cornfield, and a few market gardens, 
hedged in with hawthorn and May blossom in the summer 


months ; there were neatly kept pleasure grounds and tea 
gardens attached, and at a later date it was known for all 
kinds of "sports," which were carried on. The nine elms, 
from which the lane derived its name, stood near this 

The "Old House at Home" stood near Battersea 
Fields, not far from the Red House ; it was a small 
thatched building, which answered the double purpose 
of beerhouse and farmhouse combined, it had a reputation 
for the excellence of its egg flip, which consisted of hot 
ale or stout, into which new-laid eggs were beaten, after 
being well mixed, it was sweetened with sugar. This was 
a popular Sunday morning drink of many who were on 
their way to the Red House sports. All beers sold at 
this house were drawn direct from the casks, which were 
in full view of the customers. Near this house, in the 
summer time, gipsies and other old-time tent-dwellers 
pitched their encampments. When the Red House 
festivities were at their height, a barge, richly gilded, 
called " The Folly," was moored in the river, where the 
bloods of the period, with their ladies, assembled for 
dancing and card-playing. On their way home many 
of these revellers called at the " Old House at Home " 
for an egg flip. 

Another tavern of note was " Ye Old Plough Inn," 
on St. John's Hill, which was built a.d. 1701, and was 
pulled down in 1874, the present " Plough " being erected 
upon the site. In front of the old inn grew an oak tree, 
beneath its shade travellers used to sit and enjoy their 
refreshments. There is some grounds for the belief 
that the notorious Dick Turpin once stayed at this house 
for some time, when he was nightly visiting the Garrett 
Lane district, the lane was then a lonely Surrey high road, 
leading to Tooting and Merton, where many of the gentry 
resided whom Turpin used to intercept on their way home, 
and demand his toll. Tradition says that he was often 
in hiding at the " Plough," when he was hard pressed 





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by the men of law. The house was very picturesque in 
its surroundings, with seats and benches beneath the 
overhanging trees, and the old-time lattice windows of 
the inn. A rhymster of the time wrote the following lines 
in memory of the old oak tree which grew in front of the 
" Plough "— 

" Here stands the remains of the old oak tree, 
That flourished when knights of the road roamed free, 
When bands of lawless, yet chivalrous wights, 
Struck fear to the hearts of purse-proud knights. 
This gay old king of the forest wild, 
His proud head bowed to the sun's bright smile ; 
His leaves to the murmuring breeze did fling 
In the cool shade of the old Plough Inn. 
When the knights of the road of their deeds did sing, 
As the chorus loud made the rafters ring, 
They drank to the health of Turpin the bold, 
When he brought to the ' Plough ' his ill-gotten gold. 
So here's to the memory of the old Plough Inn, 
And all the past memories of things that have been." 


DOMESDAY Book says that Battersea had many mills 
for grinding corn and for other purposes. Whiting 
works and lime kilns were in the parish as far back 
as 1650. Pottery works were established in 1700, and a 
turnery stood near Nine Elms L,ane ; at a later date cement 
works and breweries were in operation. Brickmaking 
was carried on in some fields on Pig Hill (Latchmere 
Road). Cattle breeding flourished to some extent, sheds 
and outbuildings were erected on part of the site of 
Bolingbroke House. These buildings had accommodation 
for six hundred head of cattle, the animals were fattened 
by meal which was ground and prepared in a mill built 
on the same site. Another industry at this time (1700) 
was salmon fishing, salmon being very plentiful in the 
river at certain times of the year. A good trade was 
done by the Battersea and Chelsea boatmen. 

There was a foundry in Battersea, about 1660, for 
casting shot for the Tower of London. Along the river 
front there were several factories and works, some of 
which are still carried on, and have grown into important 
industries. Not far from Price's factory, Freeman's colour 
and varnish works were established ; then came Whiffin's 
chemical factory, and near to the old creek was Nash 
and Miller's barge building yard ; another boat and barge 
building yard was one owned by A. B. Cox, who had a 
good reputation as a boat builder. Mr. H. B. Condy, the 
inventor of Condy's Fluid, and antiseptic aromatic vinegar, 
had his first manufactory on the river side, near Nine 


Elms. The Silicated Carbon Filter Co., which employed a 
number of hands, also had their works contiguous to 
Condy's. An important factory on the river front is 
Morgan's crucible and plumbago works. This firm is 
now the largest crucible makers in the world, doing an 
immense business in all kinds of crucibles for melting and 
refining various kinds of metals, which are sent to all 
parts of the world. Crucible making is a very old art, we 
know that crucibles were used in the twelfth century by 
the old alchemists when they tried to transmute into gold 
the six other metals which were then known to philoso- 
phers. For scientific research the crucible has occupied an 
important place in history, and it has been aptly termed 
the cradle of experimental chemistry. In 1832 Dr. Kyan 
established in Battersea his works for preserving wood 
from dry rot by a process known as Kyanizing. 

The Old Silk Factory. 

The silk industry was brought to England from 
France by the Hugenots in 1639, who settled in Wands- 
worth and Spitalfields, some of those who settled at 
Wandsworth found their way to Battersea, where, among 
other industries, they set up a silk factory, and some of 
their descendants had a factory at the commencement of 
the nineteenth century, near the river, on the site where 
now stands Garton Hill's works, in York Road. At this 
time a large number of hauds were employed, as it was 
one of the staple trades of the district. The business was 
carried on by Messrs. Curnell, Tyell & Webster. The 
road which runs down to the river by the side of Garton 
Hill's works was known as Silk Factory Lane (now York 
Place). The factory fell into decay on the decline of the 
silk trade, but down to 1840 some of the old looms and 
silk weaving machinery were still intact. 

About this date the building was taken over by Mr. 
Fownes, and converted into a glove factory. 


The Wellington Works, Battersea Bridge. 

In the year 1744, Joseph Bowley came from Notting- 
ham to London and commenced the business of soap and 
candle making. London then, as now, was looked upon 
by men with business aspiration as the Mecca for trade 
and commerce, so Joseph Bowley set up a factory at 
Westminster for the purpose of manufacturing soap and 
candles, and for refining oil. After passing through the 
usual vicissitudes of a new business, success began to 
loom ahead, and from a small beginning a large business 
grew, and continued to grow until about 1868, when the 
works were removed to Battersea, as much larger premises 
were required for their increasing trade, the Wellington 
Works were established near Battersea Bridge. The 
business has grown so rapidly during the past forty years 
that the works now occupy nearly the whole of Wellington 
Road, and a large river frontage, with all facilities for 
loading and landing goods. The soap and candle making 
departments have been closed owing to the rapid growth 
of other departments, which now comprise oil refining, 
varnish making, motor spirit and naptha distilling, also 
colour and paint manufacturing. The factory is equipped 
with all modern appliances for the blending and mixing 
of all kinds of lubricating oils and paints, and the pro- 
duction of motor spirit. 

The firm has a wide business connection, not only 
at home, but in the Colonies and foreign countries. 

The present head of the firm, Joseph John Bowley, 
F.C.S., is a direct descendant of the founder, he is an 
associate member of the Society of Chemical Industry, 
also a member of the Chamber of Commerce ; he is ably 
assisted in the business by his son. 

The Wellington Works, like many other works where 
inflammable products are used, has had its "fires," the 
two most severe were in 1883 an d * n 1906, the latter 


destroyed nearly half the entire works on the north side 
of Wellington Road, and before the fire was got under 
all the petroleum spirit storage was destroyed. The fire, 
when at its height, was visible for many miles, as the huge 
flames shot upwards from the spirit storage; the oils and 
spirit also ran into the river, making vast sheets of flame 
upon the surface of the water, and, as the reporters said, 
Messrs. Bowley had the distinction of having set the 
Thames on fire. 

Wicker Work. 

At one time considerable trade was done in Battersea 
in wicker work, osiers grew plentifully on the river banks, 
which were known as the osier grounds. Many of these 
osiers were sold, in the by-gone time, for church purposes, 
and were called church osiers. 

Fownes' Glove Factory. 

This industry was established at Battersea in 1777 by 
Mr. John Fownes, who was a prominent citizen of Battersea 
during the eighteenth century, he lived at Poplar House, 
which stood in Falcon L,ane, near to where Hunt and 
Cole's shop now stands. The factory and grounds 
occupied the greater portion of one side of the lane. 
The importance of these works is shown by the fact that 
in the busy season upwards of six hundred hands were 
employed. When the land in Falcon Lane became 
valuable for building purposes the works were removed 
to the old silk factory in York Road, and some years later 
the business left Battersea, being transferred to Worcester. 
A small branch of the business is still carried on (1913) 
in Battersea, where many hands are employed. Fownes 
have a large warehouse at 71 Gresham Street, from which 
their gloves are exported to all parts of the world, for the 
name " Fownes " stands high in the glove trade. 


In 1847 Mr. Fownes gave the freehold site for the 
building of Christ Church. 

Brunei/s Saw Miu,. 

Sir Mark Brunei had his veneer works and saw mills 
near the old Battersea Bridge; early in the nineteenth 
century these works are thus described by a writer in 
the British Register: — 

" But a few yards from the toll-gate of the bridge, on 
the western side of the road, stand the work-shops of that 
eminent mechanic, Mr. Brunei, who has effected as much 
for the mechanic arts as any man of his time. The 
wonderful apparatus in the Dockyard at Portsmouth, by 
which he cuts blocks for the Navy with a precision and 
expedition that astonish every beholder, secures him a 
monument of fame, and eclipses all rivalry. His work- 
shops are free from ostentation. In a small building on 
the left, I was attracted by the action of a steam-engine 
of a sixteen-horse, or eighty men, power, and was ushered 
into a room where it turned, by means of bands, four 
wheels fringed with fine saws, two of them eighteen feet 
in diameter, and two of nine feet. These circular saws 
were used for the purpose of separating veneers, and a 
more perfect operation was never performed. I beheld 
planks of mahogany and rosewood sawed into veneers 
the sixteenth of an inch thick, with a precision and 
grandeur of action which really was sublime ! The same 
power at once turned these tremendous saws, and drew 
their work upon them. A large sheet of veneer, nine or 
ten feet long by two feet broad, was thus separated in 
about ten minutes ; so even, and so uniform, that it 
appeared more like a perfect work of nature than one of 
human art! The force of these saws may be conceived 
when it is known that the large ones revolve sixty-five 
times in a minute." 


The saw mills and works were destroyed by fire 
in 1814. 

Shoe Factory. 

In 1 81 2 a shoe factory stood on the banks of the river, 
near Battersea creek, where discharged soldiers and others 
were taught the trade of shoe making. The factory is 
thus described by a writer in the Monthly Magazine : — 

" At Battersea there is a manufactory of shoes, full of 
ingenuity, and which, in regard to the subdivision of 
labour, brings this fabric on a level with the oft-admired 
manufactory of pins. Every step in it is effected by the 
most elegant and precise machinery ; while as each opera- 
tion is performed by one hand, so each shoe passes through 
twenty-five hands, who finish from the hide, as supplied 
by the currier, a hundred pair of strong and well-finished 
shoes per day. All the details are performed by ingenious 
applications of the mechanic powers, and all the parts 
are characterised by precision, uniformity, and accuracy. 
As each man performs but one step in the process, which 
implies no knowledge of what is done by those who go 
before or follow him, so the persons employed are not 
shoemakers, but wounded soldiers, who are able to learn 
their respective duties in a few hours." 

It is interesting to note that the system of each work- 
man making one part of a shoe only, which was com- 
menced in the American shoe factories a few years ago, 
and has been adopted in the British manufactories, was 
carried out in the Battersea shoe factory one hundred 
years ago. 

Battersea Soap Works. 

In 1 8 13 an extensive soap factory was built at a cost 
of ^60,000. It stood near the bridge, facing the river, 
the factory was fitted with the latest machinery and 


appliances for soap making, but had not been working 
long before great objection was taken by many of the 
inhabitants of Battersea and Chelsea to the noxious fumes 
and gases arising from the works, and an indictment 
against the continuance of the manufactory was brought 
in the Law Courts. The Judge, in summing up the case, 
said, "It was to be regretted that a less polite and populous 
site had not been chosen for such a factory, useful manu- 
factories should be fostered, but it would be sacrificing 
the end of living to the means, if they were allowed to 
annoy whole districts by their smoke, noise or effluvia." 
The verdict went against the owner, and the works 
were closed down. Shortly after the proprietor became 

Price's Candle Works. 
The Growth of a Great Industry. 

Battersea is the home of the candle industry, for 
although Price's Candle Co., che pioneers of the candle 
trade, commenced their business at Vauxhall nearly one 
hundred years ago, the great development of the business 
has taken place since the transfer of the works to Battersea 
nearly seventy years ago, and its growth has been on a 
par with the progress of the science and art of candle 
making, until at the present day their goods are exported 
to all parts of the globe, and "Price's" have established 
oversea branches in South Africa and China, and are 
now the largest candle makers in the world. 

It was in 1833 that the first "stearic" candles were 
made. The inventor, a Frenchman, did not attain much 
success, and it was not until some years later that they 
became of commercial value, when M. de Milly founded 
his " Stearic Candle Works " in Paris. Mr. James Soames 
invented a device for separating cocoa-nut oil into its 
solid and liquid components. This patent was pur- 


chased by Mr. William Wilson and his partner, candle 
makers, trading as E. Price & Co., and it was first used 
by this firm for the production of candles and lamp oil. 
The plaited wick was patented in France in 1825 by 
Cambaceres. By the use of this wick the need for snuffing 
candles is obviated, for during combustion the wick 
becomes untwisted so that the lighted end is bent outside 
the flame, and, meeting the air, is completely consumed. 
In 1840, Mr. J. P. Wilson, of Price's, invented an improved 
self-snuffing candle, which was known as the "Composite," 
so called because of the mixture of material in its manu- 
facture. At this time Price's had established steam mills 
at Ceylon for crushing cocoa-nuts to extract the oil for 
their London factory, and a great impetus had been given 
to the candle trade by a change in the tariffs, improved 
machinery, and the advent of steam navigation. Another 
advance in the making of candles was made by Messrs. 
Blundell, Spence & Co., of Hull, but as the candles made 
by this new process were of a dark colour, they did not 
come into general use. 

In 1842 a discovery was patented by Price's, in the 
names of W. C. Jones and G. F. Wilson, which allowed 
palm oil and greases to be made into a white and inodorous 
material for candles. 

The manufacture of night lights (or " mortars," as 
they were originally called) was begun in 1843, and in 
1848 the Company acquired a patent held by Mr. G. M. 
Clarke, and in 1849 the night-light business of Mr. Samuel 
Child— hence the well-known name "Child's Night 
Lights." This branch of the business, like that of candle- 
making, has seen many changes since its introduction. 
Beginning with the poured lights, consisting of mixed 
fats, and passing on to the moulded coco-stearin lights, 
introduced as "New Patent Night Lights" in 1853, by 
Mr. George F. Wilson, they then reached a paraffin 
period, in which the " Royal Castle" and " Palmitine Star" 
night lights made their appearance. 


The Belmont Works, which had been established at 
Vauxhall under the name of Edward Price & Co., con- 
tinued to prosper to such an extent that in 1847 the 
business was formed into a company with a capital of 
^500,000. In 1850 James Young invented what was 
known as paraffin wax, and Price's was the first firm to 
use it in the manufacture of candles, these candles were of 
a much superior quality to any others then on the market. 
The total imports of palm oil into England, which amount- 
ed to nineteen thousand eight hundred tons in 1840, rose 
to about fifty thousand tons in 1871, and are now in the 
region of seventy-five thousand tons. This increase of 
importation was undoubtedly due in very great part to the 
use of the oil for the manufacture of candles, and it is this 
trade which presents to the African chiefs and kings along 
the West Coast the motive that they can best understand 
for the abandonment of the slave trade. The lesson is 
learnt that subjects are of more value to their rulers when 
collecting palm oil than when sold into slavery. In 1843 
Messrs. Price's opened a small factory in Battersea, which 
was run in conjunction with the one at Vauxhall until 
the end of 1864, when the Vauxhall works were closed, 
a freehold was purchased at York Place, and the present 
Battersea factory erected. 

In the year 1854 the Company entered upon the 
manufacture of household soap, and they have gradually 
developed this branch of their business until they have 
now become makers of all kinds of household, mill, 
laundry, soft, and disinfecting (carbolic) soaps. 

In motor oils they also do an extensive business. In 
1912 the Company acquired the large, and very old estab- 
lished business of Charles Price & Co., and their extensive 
works at Belvedere, in order to secure greater accommoda- 
tion to meet the demands of increasing business in lubri- 
cating oils, etc. 

Several inventions of an important character in 
machinery and the method of making candles have been 


patented by Messrs. Price during the past forty years, 
which have not only resulted in large increases in their 
own business, but have contributed to the advancement 
of the candle-making trade in general. 

By Act of Parliament, in 1857, the capital of the 
Company had been increased to ;£i, 000,000. The premises 
have been enlarged and additions built from time to time 
as the business grew, until now (1913) the ground area is 
over fourteen acres, and the firm employs close upon one 
thousand seven hundred hands, while the total number of 
employees at Liverpool, Manchester, and Battersea, is 
over three thousand. 

In 1 87 1 Mr. John Hodges, foreman of the paraffin 
department, discovered a method for producing white 
paraffin from paraffin scale, without using spirit of any 

Price's Company look after the welfare of their work- 
people ; at Vauxhall, in the early forties, they established 
a night school for the improvement of their workers. 
This was the first factory school in England, and did 
some good work at a time when the education of the 
people was being neglected. At the present day they 
are doing much in the interest of their employees at 
their works near Liverpool, which were opened in 1853. 
Here the company built one hundred and forty cottages 
and a school, they also built a church and a lecture hall, 
and have recently added a library and a cottage hospital. 
At Battersea they established the " Workers' Pension 
Fund," the money being provided by the Company. They 
also inaugurated the Belmont Institute, which provides 
classes, library, and recreation clubs, also sewing and 
singing classes lor girls, all of which have been a source 
of pleasure and profit to their workers. 

From such a small beginning nearly a century ago, 
this marvellous progress has been made in a great indus- 
try, from the primitive "dip" to the beautifully finished 
candle of th« present day. 


The Starch Factory. 

In 1840 Orlando Jones invented a process by which 
starch could be manufactured from rice. By this process 
a much better starch was obtained, both as to colour and 
purity, and at less cost than by the old method. Before 
this invention, starch had been made from potatoes, maize, 
and wheat ; starch made from wheat is the oldest known 
process, for Pliny mentions it in his Natural History two 
centuries ago. When ruffles and frills and full-bottomed 
wigs were the fashion, large quantities of wheat starch 
were used. There are about forty-five varieties of rice. 
Most of these rice plants originated in India, and from that 
country have spread over the whole of Asia, and to other 
parts of the world. Orlando Jones' invention consisted of 
the treatment of rice by an alkaline solution, the alkali 
being used in such a way as to dissolve the gluten without 
in any way destroying the property of the starch. In 1848 
the firm of Orlando Jones & Co. removed from their works 
at Whitechapel and built a factory in the York Road, with 
a frontage to the river. The site is now occupied by 
Dawney's iron and steel works. 

The starch business became an extensive one, employ- 
ing between two hundred and three hundred hands. The 
manufacture of a new laundry blue, by a process invented 
by one of the managers, was added to the business in 1896, 
and attained a large sale. The business was sold to 
Messrs. Coleman, mustard manufacturers, and transferred 
to their works at Norwich in 1901, when the Battersea 
works were closed down. 

The Nine Elms Gas Works. 

Battersea had some connection with the early intro- 
duction of gas for general lighting, for it was in 1857 that 


the old London Gas Light Company began the making of 
gas at Nine Elms Lane, in some new works they had 
erected. The Company had been formed in 1833, and had 
made gas in their works at Vauxhail ; the new works at 
Battersea, the largest in England at that date, marked a 
great advance in gas manufacture. There were five retort 
houses and eight purifiers, with four gas holders, which 
would receive six million feet of gas. The main entrance 
gate was near the old mill-pond bridge, there were also 
three other entrances. The number of men employed 
during the winter season was upwards of four hundred. 
This number was increased in later years, when the 
extension of the works, and improved machinery, greatly 
increased the output of gas. 

In 1865 an explosion of gas took place at the works, 
by which ten men lost their lives, and a great many of 
the workmen were injured, much damage being done to 
the adjacent property. John Timbs, in his " History of 
Inventions," thus describes the accident: "On October 
31st, 1865, at the London Gas-light Works, Battersea, a 
gas holder exploded, killing many workmen. This holder 
was one of the largest in London, being one hundred 
and fifty feet in diameter, sixty feet high, and as the side 
plates were very thick the force of the explosion must 
have been great, for when the holder burst, there was 
an immense rush of gas, which instantly caught fire, and 
shot up in a vast column of flame. The concussion ripped 
open another gas-holder, when the escaping gas caught 
fire, and meeting the flames of the first gas-holder, the 
fire rolled away in one vast expansive flame ; many of the 
houses in the vicinity were shattered to pieces." 

Street gas-lighting does not date very far back, being 
first used for lighting the streets of London in 1807, and as 
late as 1826 it was not in general use, for it was strongly 
opposed, as a great public danger. When it was proposed 
to light the House of Commons with gas, a member 
gravely moved that the pipe which conveyed the gas to 


the burners should be fixed three inches from the walls, 
as a precaution against fire. In 1859, an Act of Parlia- 
ment was passed to prevent gas works being erected 
within ten miles of London. 

There are other industries of note in Battersea, but 
as they are, comparatively, of modern growth, they have 
not been included in this history. 


BOOKS on botany, published in the eighteenth and 
early nineteenth centuries, show that many varieties 
of indigenous plants and flowers grew in Battersea 
about the fields, hedges, and highways. In 1820 William 
Pamplin, who was a noted florist in his day, had his 
nurseries and planting grounds on Lavender Hill, where he 
kept a collection of specimens of plants and flowers which 
grew in the neighbourhood of Battersea, many of which he 
supplied to some of the best families about London. The 
following list of local plants and flowers and their locality, 
shows an interesting aspect of Battersea in by-gone 

This list of indigenous plants is largely compiled from 
the works of Sir J. E. Smith, who published his work on 
"English Botany" in thirty-six volumes, about 1819. 
The technical and Latin terms and names are omitted. 

Annual Yellow Cress. — Grew in damp low ground near 
Vauxhall, very rare. 

Arrow Head. — Grew by the Thames and in the ditches 
near Battersea Fields. 

Blood-veined Dock. — Though rare, this was found on 
the bank of a ditch between the nursery and the footpath 
on Lavender Hill. 

Broad Hedge Mustard. — Was found in waste ground 
about Battersea. Ray says " It came up abundantly after 
the Great Fire of London, in the years 1667 and 1668." 

Broad-leaved Helleborine. — Rather rare, but was found 
on the banks of Lord Spencer's Park. 


Brookweed or Water Pimpernel. — Rare, but has been 
found in a marshy piece of land near the footpath leading 
from the Red House to Battersea. 

Bur Mary gold. — This grew in great profusion in Batter- 
sea Fields. 

Butter Bur. — Grew in the marshes by the Thames side 
at Battersea. 

Cat Mint. — Not common, was found on the banks of a 
field adjoining a nursery on Lavender Hill. 

Celandine. — Was found in hedge banks near Lavender 
Hill and Battersea Fields. 

Common Bank Carex.—Was found growing abundantly 
in Battersea Fields. 

Common Carex. — This was found growing in a brook 
at the foot of Lavender Hill. 

Common Hemlock. — Was found in the lane running 
from Clapham Common to Lavender Hill, also by the 
footpath from Battersea Bridge to the Red House. 

Common Skull Cap. — Was found by the side of ditches 
in Battersea Fields. 

Common Tway-blade. — Was found in the meadows at 
foot of Lavender Hill, near a footpath leading to Balham. 

Corn Gromwell. — Not common, at times was seen in 
the Battersea cornfields. 

Corn Salad.— -Was found on dry banks near Lavender 

Cowslip. — Plentiful in fields on Lavender Hill. 

Cut-leaved Nettle. — Very rare, was found in cultivated 
fields about Lavender Hill. 

English Mercury. — Could be found in hedgebanks and 
in cultivated ground about Battersea. 

Enchanter's Nightshade. — Very uncommon, grew in 
shady lanes, was found in the lane leading from the 
Fields to the Prince's Head Tavern. 

Fetid Goosefoot. — Rare, but was sometimes seen 
between Lavender Hill and Wandsworth ; it is a weed 
which grows by the roadside. 










Fine-leaved Water Dropwort. — Grew in the large ditches 
and pools in Battersea Fields. 

Flowering Rush. — Was plentiful in ditches between 
Battersea Bridge and Vauxhall. A very handsome plant. 

Great Yellow Loose Strife. — Found in ditches in 
Battersea Fields, towards the Red House. 

Great Water Dock. — Was to be found in the wide 
ditches about Battersea Fields. 

Great Water Scorpion Grass. — Was found in ditches 
and the marshy land near Battersea Fields. 

Gree?i Panic Grass. — This was rare, sometimes found 
between the Bridge Road and the Nine Kims, near the 

Hedge Mustard. — Grew on waste ground in dry 
positions on the L,atchmoor Common. 

Hemlock Dropwort. — Grew on the banks of the Thames 
near Battersea Bridge, close to the Chelsea Waterworks. 

Horse Radish. — Seen often in Battersea Fields and 
Wandsworth Common. 

Ivy -leaved Snapdragon. — Grows on old damp walls ; 
was found at Battersea, Clapham, and Wandsworth. 

Lesser Snapdragon. — A pretty annual plant which was 
found in the Battersea corn-fields. 

Loose Pa?iic Grass. — Found on moist, arable land near 

Marsh Arrow Grass. — Plentiful in the marshes between 
Battersea Bridge and the Red House. 

Pere?mial Dove's-fool Cranes-bill.— Found on the banks 
near Battersea Fields. Not common. 

Remote Carex. — By no means common, has been found 
in the brook near Lavender Hill. 

Rough Panic Grass. — Very rare, Sir J. E. Smith 
found some in Battersea Fields. 

Round-leaved Cranes-bill. — Rare, was found on the 
banks near the Lavender Hill nursery, and by the roadside 
near the Prince's Head. 

Self-heal. — The white flowered variety seldom met 


with, but has been found in the meadows about Lavender 

Shilling Cranes-bill. — This was not common, but could 
be found in a lane leading from Clapham Common to 
Lavender Hill. 

Small Marsh Valerian. — Found in the moist meadows 
about Battersea Fields. 

Smooth-headed Poppy . — Very uncommon, a weed which 
grew in the gardens on Lavender Hill. 

Smooth Naked Horse-tail. — Grew plentifully in Batter- 
sea Fields. 

Snapdragon. — Very rare; some was found in arable 
land on Lavender Hill. 

Star of Bethlehem. — This was found on a piece of 
waste pasture land near the Thames, west of the Red 

Tall Red Rattle. — Rare, not often seen, sometimes 
found in the moist meadows near the Red House. 

Triangular Club Rush. — This was found on the banks 
of the Thames between Battersea and Vauxhall. 

Upright Annual Broom Grass. — Was seen growing on 
an old wall near Battersea Church. 

Water Aloe. — Could be gathered from a wide brook 
near the foot of Lavender Hill, also in a pond opposite 
"The Five Houses," Wandsworth Common. 

Water Hemlock. — Grew in the ditches about Battersea. 
Rather rare. 

Water Plantain. — Found in ponds and marshes, but 
required diligent search, has been found on Lavender Hill 
near the milestone. 

Water Violet. — Was found in the principal ditches 
near Battersea, and was plentiful on Latchmoor Com- 

White Saxifrage. — Was found in meadows between 
Battersea and Wandsworth. 

Wild Endive. — The white variety is very rare, but has 
been found in Battersea Fields. 


Yellow Cress. — Grew near the Thames at Battersea, 
rather common. 

Yellow Goals Beard. — Found in the meadows between 
Battersea Fields and Lavender Hill. 

Yellow Marsh Dock.— Rather rare, was found on the 
inundated parts of Latchmoor Common. 

Yellow Oat Grass. — Grew in the footpath from Batter- 
sea Bridge to Lavender Hill. Not common. 


THE old-time citizens of Battersea who could claim 
to be wealthy, did not leave much of their wealth 
to be enjoyed by their fellow citizens who were not 
so well endowed with this world's goods. Old records 
show that a number of bequests were made from time to 
time, nearly all of which are conspicuously small, but in 
considering this, it must be remembered, that when many 
of those bequests were made, it was not the age of 
millionaires, money was not so much centralised as it is at 
the present time, fortunes were not so large, and many of 
our best families lived a more simple life. There was little 
globe trotting, or hunting of big game in those days, 
money had not the uses it has now, therefore gentlemen 
retired from commerce on much smaller fortunes than 
they do in the present day, and when they made their 
wills the bequests were smaller. More generosity was 
also dispensed during the lifetime of wealthy people, as 
the ties of life between the rich and the poor were much 
closer than is the case now, when money is often hoarded 
up by its owner during the whole of his lifetime, nothing 
being dispensed until his death. Then, again, what was 
looked upon as a considerable fortune one hundred years 
ago would be thought a small one in the present age. The 
value of money is constantly changing, and, dealing with 
the last century, these features must be considered when 
comparing old-time bequests with those of the present 


John Banks Bequest. 

By the will of John Banks, dated March 21st, 1716, 
the sum of £2 10s. each was left to five poor men and 
five poor women as an annuity ; the conditions were, resi- 
dence in the parish of Battersea, applicants to be over 
forty years of age, and nomination by a ratepayer of 
the parish. The money was left in trust to the Haber- 
dashers' Company, who had to make a half-yearly payment 
of the pension at Haberdashers' Hall, and the pensioners 
were to be provided with a dinner at the cost of the Com- 
pany. The payments were to continue for the lifetime of 
the recipients, unless valid reasons could be shewn for its 

Ann Cooper Bequest. 

Ann Cooper, by her will dated June 22nd, 1720, left 
£300 in trust for the purchase of land, the rental to be 
employed for the relief of so many poor persons of the 
parish as the trustees should appoint, the money could 
also be used for the purpose of apprenticing poor children 
to trades. The nett income of this charity is now dis- 
tributed in money gifts of five shillings each to poor 
persons belonging to Battersea. 

John Edmonds Bequest. 

In 1743 John Edmonds left three houses situated in 
the parish of St. Mary, Colechurch, the houses forming 
part of Bird-in-Hand Alley in that parish. The income 
from these houses was to be used for the purpose of 
apprenticing as many poor boys belonging to the parish 
of Battersea and Colechurch as the money would allow. 


Mark Beu, Bequest. 

In 1789 Mark Bell left ^1,000 upon trust for the 
benefit of the minister of the dissenting meeting house, 
Battersea, and his successors. The testator also left ,£200 
upon like trust for the benefit of the minister for the time 
being of an independent meeting house at Beverley, in 
Yorkshire. The dividend from this first investment is now 
about £40, which is received by the minister of the Baptist 
Chapel, York Road. 

Rebecca Wood Bequest. 

The sum of ^"200 was left by this lady in 1796, the 
interest of which was to be divided among twenty-four 
poor families living in Battersea. The money was to be 
expended in the purchase of bread, coal, and candles, and 
distributed every seventh day of January. 

Haldimand Bequest. 

Anthony Haldimand, in 1815, left by will ^"ioo to be 
invested for the benefit of the poor of Battersea. The 
interest on this sum is now incorporated with Rebecca 
Wood's Charity. 

John Pavin Bequest. 

John Pavin died in 1820, leaving by will the sum of 
^1,000 in trust, to provide coal, candles, bread, and six 
yards of flannel, to be distributed every year, on the 25th 
of December, amongst forty-four widows residing at Nine 
Elms and Battersea Fields, the recipients to be selected 
by the vicar and churchwardens, who were the trustees. 
He also left the sum of ^1,000 divided as follows: one 
fourth of the amount to be applied for the benefit of St. 


John's School ; one fourth part to be expended in the 
purchase of bread, which was to be distributed every 
Sunday at the Battersea Parish Church ; one fourth part to 
be expended in the purchase of tea and sugar for the aged 
women in the Battersea Workhouse ; and the remain- 
ing fourth part to be applied for the benefit of the aged 
men in the workhouse, who were in the habit of attending 
divine service in the Parish Church. 

Thomas Archer Bequest. 

By the will dated August 23rd, 1827, the testator left 
the sum of ,£100, in trust, for the Battersea poor. The 
interest on this amount is given in sums of five shillings 
to persons selected by the Minister and Churchwardens 
(the trustees). 

The Buck and Perkin Bequest. 

The following entry appears in an old cash book 
relating to this bequest to Battersea: — "1828. Messrs. 
Buck & Perkin, of Wandsworth, gave to this parish the 
sum of ^500 for the purpose of repairing that portion of 
the new road within this parish across Battersea and 
Wandsworth Cynmon, and Nightingale Lane, which road 
was made by the said two persons." This sum of ^500 
was invested in Consols. 

John Sheweu* Bequest. 

The testator left the amount of £220 in September, 
1829, which was to be applied for the benefit of the poor 
during his sister Mary's lifetime. In an old register 
relating to the parochial charities of Battersea it is shown 
that ^40 a year was expended in bread, coal, and clothing, 
from 1835 until the death of Mary Shewell in 1842. 


John Rapp Bequest. 

John Rapp left £200 on December 23rd, 1830, the 
proceeds of the sale of his estate, which amount was to 
be invested in three per cent. Consols, the interest to be 
given annually to four poor men and four women at the 
discretion of the Vicar and Churchwardens on Christ- 
mas Day, the amount receivable being fifteen shillings 

Tritton Bequest. 

Henry Tritton, in 1838, left ^"1,000 invested in public 
funds, the dividend to be paid to the minister for the 
time being of the Battersea Baptist Chapel, York Road. 
The amount of interest on this money is about ^40 
per annum. 

Constable Bequest. 

John Charles Constable, in 1849, left £50 to the Vicar of 
Battersea, to be invested, the interest to provide a dinner 
every Christmas Day for eight poor families, inhabitants 
of the parish. The money now amounts to £1 16s. a year 
and is distributed in money, five shillings being given 
each family in lieu of a dinner. 

Rev. Edwin Thompson Bequest. 

This testator bequeathed, in 1872, one quarter of his 
fortune in trust to the Churchwardens of St. John's 
Church, Battersea, to invest and distribute the annual 
income among the poor of the parish in perpetuity, the 
money to be expended in the best way the trustees 
see fit. 


Juhr Bequest. 

Henry Juer made a considerable fortune out of fruit 
growing. His orchard covered a large tract of land near 
the river. When he died, in 1874, he left ^500, free of 
legacy duty, to invest for the benefit of the aged poor of 
Battersea, the Churchwardens of the Parish Church to be 
the trustees. The interest on the money was to be given 
to twelve needy persons, not under sixty years of age, the 
money to be distributed on February 1st, the anniversary 
of his birthday. The recipients to be different persons 
each year, and selected by the Overseers and Church- 

Edward Dagnau, Bequest. 

This testator died in 1881, leaving ^"ioo in trust of 
Churchwardens, to be expended in purchasing, every 
December, as many loaves as the money would buy, the 
loaves to weigh four pounds, and to be distributed among 
widows, born and residing in Battersea, and not under 
sixty years of age. 

Henry Smith Bequest. 

This testator left, in 1883, about ^600 for various 
charities, a portion of which was to be spent among the 
poor of Battersea, and the trustees expend the money 
in the purchase of great coats, value £1 each, these coats 
are distributed every winter to men considered the most 

The Ely Charity. 

In 1891 Ashley W. G. Allen left the sum of ^3»o°° 
in trust to the Vicar and Churchwardens of St. Mary, 
Battersea, to invest for the purpose of founding " The 



Ely Charity," in memory of his grandfather, some time 
Bishop of Ely. The trustees were to expend the divi- 
dends for the benefit of the deserving poor of both sexes 
belonging to the parish of St. Mary. In 1898 the income 
amounted to ^114 19s. 4d. The trustees apply the money 
in contribution to Bolingbroke Hospital, a special bed 
being maintained in respect of the fund. 

The Copland Bequest. 

Elizabeth Susan Copeland, in 1893, left £180 to be 
invested for the benefit of the poor residing in the parish 
of Christ Church, Battersea, the money is expended in 
gifts of coal, meat, milk, etc., which is distributed by the 
Vicar of Christ Church. 

Webb Trust. 

In January, 1897, Emma, Lady Osbourne, transferred 
to the official trustees of Charitable Funds, the sum of 
^1,891. The dividend of this money to be in keeping 
of the Vicar of St. Mary's, to be applied for the relief of 
the poor, the money to be distributed in pensions, 
pecuniary gifts, clothing, or otherwise. Recipients must 
be members of the Church of England, and residents of 
Battersea. The charity is called " Webb's Trust." 

Lost Charities. 

The records for 1786 show money left to the amount 
°f £335 for the poor of Battersea, but it cannot be traced, 
and there is no account of it ever having been dispensed. 




Baptist Meeting House. 

THE first Baptist Meeting House dates from 1736, and 
was in the York Road. The Rev. Brown was minister 
for over forty years. In 1796 the Rev. Joseph Hughes, 
M.A., was appointed the minister, he at once commenced a 
fund to build a church, and with such success that in 1797 
the first church was built and Mr. Hughes was appointed 
the pastor. Soon after this he originated the " Surrey 
Mission Society," which did much good work in the early 
part of the nineteenth century. He was a great friend of 
Wilberforce and Henry Thornton, with whom he was con- 
nected in forming the British and Foreign Bible Society. 
The present Baptist Church was erected in 1870. 

St. Mary's. 

This church is built of brick, and has a tower with 
a conical copper spire, the belfry contains a set of eight 
bells, six of which were in the old church, but were 
re-cast before being placed in their present position. 
The ground upon which the church is erected was pre- 
sented by Earl Spencer, and the total cost of the building 
was about £5, 300, which amount was raised by the sale 
of the church pews on a ninety -nine years' lease, the 
sale of estates belonging to the church, and the grant- 
ing of annuities on lives. The church was opened for 
public service in November, 1777. 


St. George's 

Was built in 1828 near Battersea Fields, and was 
known as St. George's-in-the-Fields, the style is what is 
termed English architecture. The building cost a little 
over ^2,900, which was defrayed out of a rate, and by 
a grant from the Parliamentary Commissioners. The 
churchyard was closed for burials in 1852. 

Wesi,eyan Church. 

The first church of this denomination in Battersea was 
erected in Bridge Road West about 1845 ; before this time 
the Wesleyans used to meet in private houses where they 
held their church services, these were termed "cottage 
meetings " ; they also used to meet for worship in a large 
upper room over a joiner's shop in King Street. The 
church was enlarged in 1864 and again in 1871. 

Christ Church. 

Built in 1849 from designs by Mr. Charles Lee, the 
church is constructed of Bath stone, and has a tower with 
a spire. The total cost of the building was ^"5,600, most of 
which was raised by subscription. Mr. E. Fownes, head 
of the glove factory, presented the land upon which the 
church is built. 

Methodist Free Church. 

In 1858 this church was built in Church Road by the 
Free Church members, who had been much persecuted in 
the early days of their existence. The church was 
enlarged in 1864. 

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The "New" Baptist Church. 

This religious body was commenced in Battersea about 
1862 by a working-man, who used to hold the meetings of 
service in his own house. He soon gathered men of 
influence around him who contributed funds to build a 
place of worship, and the first church was built in Chatham 
Road at the cost of ^1,000. Charles and Thomas Spurgeon 
have preached here on several occasions. 

St. John's. 

The church was built in 1862, it is designed in the 
early English style from drawings by E- C. Robins. Three 
thousand three hundred pounds were expended in com- 
pleting this building. The opening service was held on 
May 5th, 1863. 

Congregational Church. 

This edifice in the Bridge Road has a fine tower and 
spire, it is built of " Kentish rag " with Bath stone 
dressings. The total cost of the building was ^4,500 ; this 
was the first Congregational Church in Battersea. The 
foundation stone was laid on September 17th, 1866, and 
the church was opened for services in 1867. 

The Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and 

St. Joseph. 

This church was built in 1868 out of funds supplied by 
a Spanish lady, Mrs. Shea, and private contributions, the 
Duke of Norfolk contributing ^500. In connection with 
this church was the convent of Notre Dame, and a boys' 
and girls' school. 


St. Mark's. 

This church was built in 1873 at a cost of ,£6,500, it is 
in Gothic style and consists of a chancel, nave, aisles, and 
transept, the architect was W. White, F.S.A. The church 
will seat six hundred persons. 

Church of the Sacred Heart. 

This Roman Catholic Church was erected in 1875, and 
was then a small iron building which was built at the cost 
of the Countess of Stackpool. Schools have been added 
to the new church. 

St. Peter's 

Was erected in 1875 and cost over £10,000, it is a brick 
Gothic structure with a lofty tower which can be seen at a 
great distance. There are some very fine carvings on the 
capitals inside this church by Henry Hems. There is 
room for seating eight hundred worshippers. The old 
tower was removed in 191 1 and the present one erected. 

St. Matthew's. 

This church has a very fine vaulted roof, the building 
is in the early English style, and was erected in 1877 at a 
cost of £3,000. It will seat five hundred persons. 

St. Saviour's. 

This church was erected at a cost of £4,000 in 1870, 
from designs by E. C Robins, the style is French Gothic. 
It was consecrated by Bishop Wilberforce (son of the 
emancipator). The church will seat seven hundred persons. 


St. Philip's. 

This building, which is in the Gothic style, cost over 
,£13,000. It is a fine structure built from designs by James 
Knowles, it will seat nearly one thousand persons. The 
church was opened for public worship in 1870. This 
church is one of the finest ecclesiastical buildings in 

Primitive Methodist Church. 

The first church was built in the New Road about 
1870, some ground was also bought in the New Road and 
schools built. Before the church was erected, the work of 
this religious body was carried on in an old building in 
Stewart's L,ane, which was used as a place of worship. 
















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IN the far off days, long before education became com- 
pulsory and without cost to the scholar or his parents, 

the teaching of the three R's was in a very scrappy 
and unsatisfactory condition. Much of the education then 
available depended upon bequests left by wealthy and 
charitable citizens, whose bequests were sometimes supple- 
mented by the pence of the children attending the schools, 
and by Government grants. 

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the 
stream of education for the masses was at a very low ebb. 
Most of the parish churches had small schools under their 
charge, which were often inefficiently conducted. This 
educational stagnation continued until the beginning of 
the nineteenth century, when Dr. Bell, who had occupied 
the post of manager to the Educational Institute of Madras, 
wrote a book on a system of education by monitorship, 
a system which he had practised in Madras with great 
success. In 1811 the National Education Society was 
formed to put this educational system into an organised 
form. The society was managed by members of the 
Church of England, with the Archbishop of Canterbury 
as President. A new impetus to education was thus given, 
as the following figures show: In 1812 there were only 
fifty-two schools under the Society's control, in 1818 
there were three thousand and fifty-two schools in con- 
nection with the Society, and a few years later the total 
number of schools had risen to nearly twelve thousand. 
Another great factor in the early education of the people 


was the British and Foreign School Society, which did 
good work in the pioneer days of scholastic work. 

The Church of England, by founding "National 
Schools," did a great work in educating the people ; still 
the result upon the nation was far from satisfactory. 
Fifty years ago it was not uncommon to find adults who 
could neither read or write, never having been to school. 
The old marriage registers also testify to the ignorance of 
the people by the number of crosses which were made in 
place of signatures. To remedy this, night schools were 
started for the teaching of adults, which schools had a 
certain amount of success ; adult schools were also held in 
factories after working hours. The first factory school 
in England was held in Price's Candle Works at Vauxhall 
in 1849. 

Battersea, like other towns and villages, suffered from 
this want of a sound system of schooling, and some of her 
citizens came forward and assisted the boys and girls 
of a by-gone generation to obtain a little educational 

St. John's School. 

In the year 1700, Sir Walter St. John left, by deed of 
gift, the rents and profits accruing from land situated in 
Camberwell and Battersea for the endowment of a school 
at Battersea, to teach and instruct twenty poor boys to 
read, write, and cast up accounts. No child was to be 
admitted under the age of eight, or to remain in the 
school after the age of fifteen. The school was managed 
by trustees, and children were admitted into the school 
by the votes of the inhabitants. By a will dated March 
8th, 1705, Sir Walter gave to the Minister of Battersea, 
to the schoolmaster, and to the trustees of the school, the 
sum of ^200 for the purchase of land, the income to be 
used for apprenticing boys to trades, after leaving the 
school. The school consisted of a house and small 


garden, the rooms of the house which were not used for 
the purpose of the school were let to poor people at a 
small rental. In 1731 L,ady St. John left in her will the 
sum of ;£ioo, the interest of which was to be used for the 
purpose of apprenticing one boy or girl to a trade. The 
St. John School continued in existence as a separate 
institution until 1815, when it was united to the National 

Grovb British School. 

Old records show that about 1800 a charity school 
was opened in the York Road which was supported by 
voluntary contributions. The school was used for the 
purpose of " teaching poor boys reading, writing and the 
lower rules of arithmetic." The establishment was under 
the management of a committee, chosen by the sub- 
scribers. This school was carried on until 1858, when 
a new building was erected, consisting of a large hall 
and other rooms. The building was then used for both 
Sunday and day schools, and received a Government 
grant until 1887, when the day school was closed, the place 
being open only as a Sunday school. The building 
was finally demolished in 191 2. 

St. Mary's School. 

In 1 85 1 Earl Spencer and Mr. Shaw Lefevre gave a 
school site in Green Lane for the erection of a school to 
educate female children and the adults of the poorer 
classes residing in Battersea. The vicar was to have 
managing control, he was also to have the use of the 
building as a Sunday school. The school was erected on 
this site at a cost of ^2,000, this money being contributed 
by Miss Champion. In 1875 the school was considerably 
enlarged, by which accommodation was provided for 
boys, the cost of the new building amounted to ^1,500, 


which was paid by Mr. Philip Cazenove, who was one of 
the school managers. The school was conducted, on 
Church of England lines, for the education of boys, girls 
and infants, and supported by Government grants, the 
only endowment being the site and the buildings. 

St. George's National School. 

John Spencer Lucas, in 1857, gave a plot of land in 
New Street, Battersea, for the erection of a school which 
was to be used for educating children and adults belong- 
ing to the working classes. The school was built in the 
following year and served a good purpose for man}' years. 
In 1895 a portion of the school premises were sold to the 
South Western Railway Company for the sum of ^2,750, 
which was paid to the trustees, the vicar and church- 
wardens of St. George's Church. A large portion of this 
money was expended in repairs, alterations and improve- 
ments of the school buildings. The school was conducted 
as a Church of England school, supported by voluntary 
contributions and by grants. 

Christ Church National School. 

In 1866 a plot of land was purchased abutting on 
Chatham Street, Orkney Street and Anerly Street, for 
the purpose of erecting a school, at a cost of ^520, and 
conveyed to the minister and churchwardens of Christ 
Church, Battersea ; the school was erected for educating 
the poor children of the parish. In 1871 the district of 
St. Saviour's was formed, which had an interest in the 
school, as the building was used as a Sunday school. In 
1876 it ceased to be used as a day school, as it failed to 
meet the requirements of the educational department. 
The school was built and supported by endowments, 
voluntary contributions and grants. 


The Masonic School. 

The Royal Masonic School was built in 1793 for the 
purpose of educating and maintaining a number of girls, 
the children of " Masons " in reduced circumstances. The 
school was founded at the suggestion of Chevalier Ruspini, 
who was surgeon to King George IV. The first school 
was built in St. George's Field's, near the Obelisk, and was 
supported entirely by voluntary contributions. In 1851 
land was purchased at Battersea for the erection of a new 
school, which was opened in 1853. This school had the 
support of King Edward VII., and other members of the 
Royal Family. 

St. James' School. 

This industrial school was built in 1851 and opened in 
1852, out of the funds of a charity left in 1806. One 
hundred and forty boys were admitted, vacancies being 
filled up as the boys left. When they finished their 
term at the school, the sum of ^10 was given for each 
boy to be taught a trade, or assisted in learning some 
business. In connection with this school Mrs. Anne 
Newton left, by will, in 1806, the sum of ^1,000, the 
interest of this money was to be given annually to the best 
boy in the school. The will went into Chancery, and 
the school only received about ^"500. The best boy was 
selected by his fellow scholars and the superintendent. 


SIXTY years ago Battersea was a small parish under 
the rule of several authorities, viz., a Vestry, a High- 
way Board, Overseers, and Inspectors of Lighting. 
The Vestry was composed of every ratepayer in the parish 
and was not an elected body. The vicar was the chair- 
man, and the meetings were held in the parish church 
vestry room. Despite the place of meeting, the debates 
were often of a stormy character, and the language used 
far from parliamentary, the votes were taken by show of 
hands, and if a poll was demanded, the churchwardens 
would go round the parish asking each ratepayer how he 
wished to vote on the question at issue, the result was 
recorded in a book and reported to the Vestry. The Over- 
seers made and collected the poor rate, and tabulated the 
list of persons entitled to vote in parliamentary elections. 

The Highway Board was elected in open Vestry by 
show of hands, and consisted of eight members. The In- 
spectors of Lighting were elected in a similar manner. 

In 1854 Sir Benjamin Hall, Commissioner of Works, 
framed a Bill for the improvement of local government 
which was very comprehensive, and was entitled " The 
Metropolis Local Management Act." This Bill passed the 
Houses of Parliament and became law in 1855. Under this 
Act the various parishes were divided under schedules 
known as A, B, and C, with varied powers. Schedule A 
comprised the larger parishes, and the smaller ones came 
under Schedule B, several of these parishes in one area 


being dominated by the Board of Works. Schedule C 
comprised the Inns of Court, and other extra areas. 

At this time the population of Battersea did not exceed 
11,500, and therefore came under Schedule B, with its 
limited powers of administration, and no funds at its 
disposal. The number of members composing the Vestry 
was regulated by the population, the smallest number 
being twenty-four, and the highest one hundred and 
twenty. Battersea's first elected Vestry comprised the 
lowest number of members. The Board of Works had to 
carry out the duties of a highway, sewer and sanitary 
authority. The Act provided that the vicar of the parish 
should remain ex-officio chairman of the new Vestry, and 
the churchwardens were to be co-opted members. The 
election of Vestrymen took place annually. At this time 
Penge, then a small hamlet, formed part of the parish of 

The inhabitants of the parish had certain Lammas 
rights over some land known as the Battersea Marsh, 
this land was required for the formation of Battersea Park, 
and for those rights the Government paid ^1,500, which 
was to be expended for the benefit of the parish, and as 
there was no hall for public meetings in the parish, it 
was decided to build one for that purpose, this was strongly 
opposed by the churchwardens, who had other uses for the 
money. They took legal proceedings against those op- 
posed to them, but in the Law Courts they were defeated 
and had to pay all costs. The Lammas Hall was then 
built, and proved a great boon to the parish ; for many 
years it was the meeting place for the new Vestry, and was 
used for the holding of public meetings. The building is 
now used as a branch library and reading rooms. 

The rateable value of Battersea in 1857 was £72, 148. 
About this time there came into existence the first rate- 
payers' association in Battersea, which was destined to be 
the forerunner of many others, it was called the "Battersea 
Ratepayers' Protection Society," and seems to have found 


plenty of work to do in watching the ratepayers' interests ; 
its meetings were held at the Railway Tavern, Battersea 
Rise, and many of them were very stormy and of a per- 
sonal character, which in those far-off days was a weak- 
ness of most ratepayers' associations, and to some extent 
is to-day. 

In 1853 the parish churchyard was closed for inter- 
ments, and a Burial Board was formed consisting of nine 
members. One of the first acts of the Board was to pur- 
chase about seven and a half acres of land on Battersea 
Rise, which they laid out as a cemetery. This served its 
purpose until 1885, when the Vestry and the Burial Board 
resolved to provide a much larger place of burial, and 
several sites were suggested, but the final selection was a 
piece of land of over one hundred and twenty-four acres 
in the parish of Morden, known as Hobalt's Farm. This 
cemetery, with the buildings, cost nearly ^25,000. 

In 1879 an effort was made to get the Baths and Wash- 
houses Acts adopted, but this was not successful until 1887 
when a piece of the Latchmere allotments was obtained as 
a building site, and the first public baths were erected in 
Battersea after nine years' fight had been waged by the 

As the population grew the number of members upon 
the Vestry increased, and in 1882 it had reached the maxi- 
mum of one hundred and twenty members, with increased 
representation upon the District Board. 

Early in the year i860 an attempt was made to obtain 
a public library for the parish. A meeting of the rate- 
payers was called and Sir Page Wood took the chair, but 
the meeting voted against the proposal and the matter was 
dropped, to be again revived in 1883, when a poll was 
taken of the ratepayers, with the result that the majority 
were not in favour of adopting the Libraries Act. The 
promoters were not dismayed but went on with their work 
until 1887, when they demanded another poll, and this 
time with success, getting a majority in their favour. 



The Public Libraries Act was adopted, and Mr. 
Andrew Cameron — a well-known public man in bis day — 
was the first chairman of the Commissioners, and Mr. 
Lawrence Inkster was appointed secretary and librarian. 
Temporary offices were taken at 346 Battersea Park Road, 
which was also opened as a reading room, and on the 28th 
November, 1888, the Latchmere reading room was opened. 
The Battersea Literary Institute having been closed the 
churchwardens transferred the books, about one thousand 
volumes, to the new library. The meetings of the Com- 
missioners was held in the Lammas Hall, which was 
opened as a reading room and lending library with about 
five thousand volumes. Mr. O. V. Morgan, the first 
member of Parliament for Battersea, opened the library on 
October 25th, 1888. The Central Library on Lavender Hill 
was erected in 1889, by Messrs. Holloway Bros., at a cost 
of £8,600 including purchase of site. Sir John Lubbock 
(now Lord Avebury), laid the foundation stone on May 
2nd. The library was opened on March 26th, 1890, by 
Mr. A. J. Mundella, M.P. The Lammas Hall now became 
a branch library. The Lurline Gardens branch was built 
in the same year at a cost of £2,070 including the freehold, 
and was opened on September 30th, 1890, by Mr. J. S. 
Gilliat, M.P. 

Up to 1873 the parish had not been divided into wards, 
but in that year, by order of the Board of Works, the 
parish was divided into four wards. About this time a 
great deal of scandal was being talked about the doings of 
the Board, and rumours of an ugly nature were in circula- 
tion, some of the members were men with axes to grind, 
and the Board of Works came to be commonly known as 
the Board of " Perks," all this did a great deal to bring 
about the extinction of the Metropolitan Board of Works 
in 1888. 

Battersea did not obtain incorporation until 1887, 
many efforts had been made to get the Vestry incorporated 
during the previous ten years, deputations had been sent 


to the Home Office, and the claims of Battersea had been 
pressed forward by Mr. Edward Wood, and Mr. Harrop, 
Vestry Clerk, on every possible occasion, but no success 
came until 1887, when Mr. C. S. By worth enlisted the 
assistance of Mr. O. V. Morgan, M.P., and in that year 
a Bill was before the House of Commons to separate the 
parish of Battersea from the Wandsworth district and the 
Board of Works. Mr. Gilliatt, then member for Clapham, 
ably supported Mr. Morgan, and in due course the Bill 
received the Royal assent. Under this Act it was provided 
that the parish should take over the offices at Battersea 
Rise belonging to the District Board, and retain the ser- 
vices of the officers of the Board. On March 22nd, 1888, 
Mr. Byworth, who had been appointed Vestry Clerk in 
1885, took possession of the Battersea Rise offices, and the 
Vestry met for the first time as a corporate body. Mr. W. 
Davies was elected the first chairman. 

As the parish increased in population, and the work of 
the Vestry became greater, the Battersea Rise offices were 
found to be much too small for the growing needs of the 
parish, and schemes were put forward by the Vestry for the 
erection of a Town Hall. Various sites were suggested, 
including the corner of St. John's Road, where Messrs. 
Arding & Hobbs' premises now stand, Battersea Park 
Road and Falcon Road, but the final decision of the Vestry 
was in favour of Lavender Hill, and a committee was in- 
structed in 1891 to purchase the Elm House Estate, which 
was then in the market, and in 1892 the plans, etc., were 
passed, and the present municipal buildings were erected 
at a cost of a little over ^"30,000. The opening ceremony 
took place on November 15th, 1893, by the Earl of 
Rosebery, and shortly after the Vestry removed their 
officials from Battersea Rise to the new buildings, which 
have since been the centre of municipal authority. 

In 1894 the vicar and churchwardens ceased to be ex- 
officio members of the Vestry, and the old Burial Board, 
the Commissioners of Baths and Wash-houses, and the 


Commissioners of Public Libraries, were transferred to the 
Vestry. This form of local government by Vestry con- 
tinued up to the close of 1899, when the Borough Councils 
came into existence as a new administrative body with 
extended power. 


G. Rangecroft & Co., Printers, St. John's Hill, Battersea, S.W. 


Santa Barbara 


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